Have you ever felt disappointed and inspired at the same time? I have. Really recently, in fact. That kind of juxtaposition of emotions is both exhausting and compelling. I have been so emotionally exhausted that it’s taken me a week to even write this piece. And so compelling, that to do nothing was simply not an option for me. I’d like to be able to say the same for a few people at City Hall. This is where I would type some sort of frowny face emoticon but I don’t do that so I’ll just tell you the story:
This past Friday, it came to my attention that an elderly citizen in our fair city had fallen on hard times and had his electricity turned off. In and of itself, this is just a fact of life when you live in a certain tax bracket. But this was serious. We had just experienced more whacky weather and we were looking at a couple of nights with a hard freeze warning. On top of that, this gentleman is oxygen dependent. It was, to say the least, troubling. Then I remembered something Vice Mayor Sherry Green said back in November of last year at one of the Board of Alderman and Mayor citizens forum and workshop. She said something to the effect that it “hurt her so bad” when she hears of a person, especially an elderly person, who winds up freezing to death. She even said, and the entire Board agreed, that she would offer up a place to sleep and shelter from the cold. Does everyone remember that? I do. And here’s the video link to prove it:
At 1:13:40 into this video, Alderman Green discusses the cold and her willingness to offer up her “little shack” to anyone who needs a place to sleep out of the cold. She then went on to say that any one of us would do the same.
But here’s the thing, she had an opportunity to do just that or to do SOMETHING for this gentleman and when faced with this opportunity, anyone want to bet on what she did? Nothing. She did nothing. The anonymous caller who brought this man’s plight to our attention even said that he had left voicemails for Mayor Dennis Waldron. Later, when I wondered if the Mayor could confirm this (because let’s face it, I was only going off the information of the anonymous caller and I’m kind of big on giving people the benefit of the doubt) I learned that he did not receive any voicemails regarding this situation. Anyone else want to guess why he did not get any voicemails in this matter? Because he doesn’t check his voicemails. I would like to give you all a moment to let that sink in….
Here’s the thing, my mama raised me to help people whenever and wherever I can. Anyone who knew her or knows any of her children know that this was the single most important character trait that her kids could have. I’m not saying this to be a braggart or anything like that. I’m saying it so that you all understand that to do nothing is simply not okay for me. Here’s where the inspiration part comes in.
In the scheme of things, what I did was minimal, at best. But I discovered that our lackadaisical, small town politicians had and has very little influence on our actual citizens. I had what could only be described as a small army take up this cause and not only get his power restored, but we got his bill paid in full so that he could start fresh.
Is this likely to happen again? Maybe. Probably. Who can say what the future brings. But I know to do nothing is not the way I want to honor my mother’s memory. Her very favorite quote of all time was:
“Life is mostly froth and bubbles, two things stand like stone. Kindness in another’s troubles, courage in your own.”
I love that quote even though I do not consider myself courageous at all. But I and a handful of my fellow LaVergnians certainly have that kindness part covered."If You Want Biblical Reference, I've Got That Too",