I had lunch with a long time friend Friday. Though considerably younger than myself we have sustained the relationship for quite a few years now. She was the first person I became acquainted with outside of the neighborhood when we first moved here.
We got to talking about that. How two people so unlike one another managed to maintain a friendship. What is the tie that binds. She just plain likes people. She is about as comfortable in her own skin as one can be and because of that, I think, she is open to others.
For my part, I too like people. I've always felt if you haven't time for new people in your life you miss great and grand opportunities. I like people of different ages, especially those who are young and able. Not that there are many older than me these days! The young educate me; I learn much from them as to how they think and why. That's important to me because my generation is passing the torch of leadership and it's better to understand and accept it than complain about it and fight it.
We got to talking about how a person can get so lost in an obsession you come to own it. Hers, for a time, was the war in Iraq when her son was serving there. She was obsessed with it. It was all she could think of to the point she put her job, her health and nearly everything else in jeopardy.
My contribution to those conversations was about health issues. In looking back it was all I talked about. Why she stuck around is beyond me. But then, that's what friends do.
It got me to thinking about the political climate around here and how some of the same factors seem to be in play. If you embrace a behavior long enough you do own it. And it's not always good.
I thought about how office holders have been bombarded with accusations for so long it appears they can do nothing right. That of course is not true.
The activists hold some causes so close to their hearts it at times seems there is room for little else. Fighting these fights must be exhausting for both sides. I wonder if this is partially the reason no one seems to hear or seems unwilling to listen to the other the other point of view. It's the same players over and over again. It breeds stress, frustration and finally animosity.
That's why I've long advocated the need for fresh faces on the city council - and it's commissions. Wouldn't it be wonderful, too, if more of the community would step forward if they have concerns and shoulder some of the burden the community activists have carried for them for so long.
I don't know. It's just something I've been thinking about on a wintery afternoon. I, myself, would take the time to go smell the roses, but alas, they are covered in snow.