Foresight, Not Hindsight…Wrecking Takes Less Skill

Nursing home on Atlantic….12 months to build, 2 weeks to demolish

What is a leader? Leadership is making hard decisions and having unpopular discussions, when needed. There are always people willing to demean a leader or stand on the sidelines, pontificating…”Ohhh…where are the leaders…our town is going straight down the toilet!”. Pointing fingers at our elected officials serves no purpose at all, but many of us seem to be willing to criticize, whithout offering solutions. I’ve been in the position before and, believe me, the public is not always kind when you’re doing the job right. It can be easy to forget the purpose of an elected position is to find someone willing to become informed and make informed decisions on your behalf. Passing the buck back to the voter, when too lazy or taking cheap shots at a commissioner, mayor or any elected official, does nothing to make government better.

Most politicans take office with the best of intentions to give back to the community. Have you ever heard the expression…”No good deed goes unpunished?” Some decisions will, literally, make no one happy. While fair criticism is reasonable, calling leadership “brain dead” is not productive or fair. Leaders have ideas and learn. Leaders are willing to try and don’t spend the majority of their time undermining. They don’t forget what it was like after their time is done and give their successors the benefit of the doubt, because they know being in charge can often be thankless.  I thought the following poem was particularly appropriate and how we should think about hiring politicians to represent our views.

Builder or Wrecker? 

I watched them tear a building down; 
A gang of men in a busy town. 
With a mighty heave and a lusty yell,
They swung a boom and a side wall fell. 

I said to the foreman, "Are these men skilled 
As the men you'd hire if you had to build?" 
He gave me a laugh and said, "No indeed! 
Just a common laborer is all I need. 
And I can wreck in a day or two 
What it took the builder a year to do." 

And I thought to myself as I went my way, 
"Just which of these roles have I tried to play? 
Am I a builder who works with care 
Measuring life by the rule and square, 
Or am I a wrecker as I walk the town 
Content with the labor of tearing down?" 
- Unknown Author

If you can’t guess, I’m venting after reading a series of criticism pieces.   Criticism and solutions are reasonable.  Criticism with “name calling” or used as a way of self promotion for an aspiring opponent, is something we should recognize.    We’re so accustomed to social media and opinion journalism, I think we begin to accept unreasonable, irrational positions.    Calling leaders brain dead or stupid, implying dishonesty, bemoaning the lack of any leadership, without offering a fair solution…is unfair.   Biased pieces with few facts and one-sided opinions are often written to undermine a political opponent or with another goal in mind.

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