By the time you read this, we will have celebrated a holiday we are in the process of redefining; clarifying thanks for family and our lives, while recognizing the history behind turkey handprints made of construction paper and head bands of beads and feathers worn by children performing plays of pilgrims and Native Americans might [...]

By the time you read this, we will have celebrated a holiday we are in the process of redefining; clarifying thanks for family and our lives, while recognizing the history behind turkey handprints made of construction paper and head bands of beads and feathers worn by children performing plays of pilgrims and Native Americans might not catch the real history of how we all arrived to this point in history. Our discussions swaying between understanding one another and defensive reactions to assertions we don't always feel make sense of who we are.

We struggle with de-centering ourselves when we feel we are losing or slighted.

We forget that some wake everyday, already on the  short side of a stick they never chose.

Entering the holidays, we scan the horizon of what is next. Is our state going to figure it out? Is   our federal government going to evolve past screaming matches of clashing awareness and confusion? Are we going to be ok?

Recently, I learned we were losing a representative from our area, Rep. Pat Ownbey. My initial reaction was sadness; not because he and I share common political views, but rather, I find our increasing lack of experienced leadership who have been in long enough to realize working together is necessary, an attribute of value we understaimate in our anarchist mentality of current political landscape. While he and I may differ ion many areas, he engaged in conversations and read alternative views towards the end; I respect this in leadership.

I worry about  the hands we are left in; concerned of who will next step to the  plate.

Wondering if  anyone will.

I realize conversations face to face are more important than ads; I wish the general public understood this; the power of negative campaigning has proven itself to be a refutable tool box in many political pursuits.  Negative ads are the first reason I won't vote for someone; I am capable of reading beyond rhetoric. And tired of school yard tactics to blow smoke and mirrors into situations which shape lives of our constituents. We need  those of us who  can understand and reason   to pay attention, to understand, and–to do the right thing. There are many who cannot understand issues, they are simply effceted by the impact. There are many who understand clearly, and overlook or minimize the their concern about how decisions shape realties for folks different than themselves.

I worry about those who  ”cannot,”; their voting  habits a  puppet string pulled and twisted by masters they don't realize are playing them, setting the stage and platform without regard for outcome. They stand on the right, left, and independently-we all fall for it at some point.

I am focused on how our community can watch out for itself, for our own, spanning that definition from our families and schools, from our neighborhoods and our Main Street, reaching outwards, spiraling towards smaller communities connecting us to one another. How we create a community where people can make a living, small business incubator programs, more local growers for our markets, grocery stores supporting local  providers of produce and canned goods through MOA. Reducing crime through a return to neighborhoods knowing one another, knowing who moves in and out, of  connecting with  kids and families, of  bringing back  parent-mentality which  welcomes others giving them a call if their kid is up to something-of engaged co-existence. Of our tendency towards seeing the world as a dangerous place;  to pursue growth in our claiming of spaces-claiming our neighborhoods a very strong step.

Of senior citizen programs and our homeless having the end of day food provided to eradicate hunger-we throw so much food out that could be used to feed the masses without a cost to anyone and it would even give a tax donation for our businesses.

Win-Win

For us to care about the most in need as we fight to protect those who have the most.

Seems a little backwards when you read it.

This holiday season, turn off your media. Connect with one another. Talk to your neighbors. Ask what you can do to help others. Say thankyou and please. If someone is cruel, speak up. If someone is harassing, speak out. Understand what is different, seek education for the unknown.

And finally, be kind to one aother. We are in this together.