Sunday, February 12, 2012
Which makes it very strange that I ever sought out a public office. It's the kind of thing I probably would never have done thirty years ago but when I was approached about being appointed to serve on a local municipal board some time back I saw it as more of community service than anything else and since I dearly love my community I agreed. Fast forward a few years and suddenly I'm running for an elected office and can hardly believe it myself.
I've been in office nearly twelve years now and here's what I love about it: nothing keeps you as humble as being in elected office. Because people seem to feel free to be as rude and unkind as they want to be when you are the target. People who would normally be friendly and polite seem to think that once you are in office you are fair game for their barbs and nasty comments and I sometimes wonder what happened to the days when people actually respected their public officials. That was a long time ago now, but it must have been nice!
Well I've become pretty much immune to the worst comments that come my way. I've been called everything from an animal hater to a moron and I've come to understand that the truth is usually somewhere in the middle, almost always. So I try to listen carefully to the measured and well-thought-out comments offered by most citizens and pretty much dismiss the more hateful ones, while still making the effort to absorb any truth among the vitriol. It helps t have a sense of humor and I can't imagine not being able to laugh about it.
It's truly a delicate balance. And its also very humbling!