I am for all things public. After all that is what we hold in common. Public libraries, parks, performances, festivals, schools, roads, piers, boat ramps, beaches, lakes and so on are a godsend for corporations. If the quality of life in a city is high employees will need less from them. So when public projects are being done why do we feel free to short change them? It, within reason, should be only the best will do for us. Yet some proclaim we do not need palaces. But I ask you what would New York look like if they had proclaim that Central Park is too big we only need a hundred acres after all we are not made of gold. NYC would not quite be the same.
The concept of austerity needs to end. Public projects are not about austerity but creating the best we can do. It is our best foot forward to ourselves and the outside world. We take pride in ourselves. Austerity is preached even when the economy is healthy. Yes there have been projects mismanaged that have gone way over budget but poor oversight is different from proclaiming austerity. Instead of the austerity approach of how can we cut the project or even worse do we need the project, we need to have a ‘get her done attitude’. I honestly believe if this approach was taken it would cut cost. Almost every project costs significantly more because we debated years over if the project can be done, had endless studies about the project because some want to stall or prevent the project and researching how we can cut cost that, by the time we get around doing the project, inflation has increased the cost. Not only that, you have three or four years you could have had a prize program that has been lost forever.
I am convinced public projects done well add so much to the quality of life. This is why I want to hear our public officials say the plan looks good and even though it is more than originally planned we will make it happen. We all know that flexibility of dreams and plans are what make for success.
The private sector should always be in partnership with its city. They should have city liaisons whose job is to be aware of what the city projects coming up they could assist. It is wrong thinking for corporations and wealthy individuals to think only what the city can do to help them. I know that boards are often filled with corporate executives and such but that is not the same thing. JFK had it right ‘ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.’
The great public spaces and programs that exist today were not because someone said let us do this on the cheap. They were made possible because of grand visions and open pocketbooks. After all Public is about how we treat each other. I wish you the best and I hope you wish me the best.
Those words from our parents that tell us they approve can mean so much to us. And yet parents often, even though they approve, have trouble communicating this without a ‘but’ on how it would be even better. And no matter how hard once we stick our but in there it is all they can remember. Counselors will say a good apology never has a ‘but’. The truth is most of us have forgotten how to be encouragers. We are more concerned about having our selves legitimized than we are about encouraging each other.
The paradox is the reason we cannot totally encourage another is we have not been encouraged ourselves thus our need for validation. It becomes a closed circle. I had a father who taught me to always question. My brothers (there were no sisters) would stay up until two or three in the morning debating religion, politics, and other issues of the day. During these times my father would annoyingly switch sides of an argument to assist the side he currently perceived was losing. It was these late night sessions that taught me to look at both sides of an issue and to always seek to improve your argument. This was a wonderful gift that in a lesser way I have tried to ingrain in my own children. But the dark side of this constantly debating subjects was you were always dissatisfied with the solutions. There was no celebration because you knew it could have been done better.
And this is the way our children and others feel when they achieve a success and we say that was good but have you thought of trying this. We need to grant them a moment of celebration before we offer our suggestions for improvement.
But sadly most of the time what we have to offer is not that useful. It is a difference in taste, a difference in emphasis, but not an improvement just different. So what to do? First before you offer a critique ask ‘is it the moment for it?’. Secondly, before you offer sage advice search to see if it is needed. Will the world fall apart if you do not grant your wisdom? And finally does it offer real encouragement and pride in their work? If it does not leave it unsaid. The hardest thing in the world to do for most of us.
Oftentimes my first encounter with an individual can sound something like this. Oh I have heard of you. You do such and such have you ever thought of doing…… Which leaves me wondering do they approve of what I do? Since they have offered nothing but a critique. It is always best to let words of encouragement come when first meeting someone (presuming you know anything about them).
In the final analysis in any situation you should ask yourself am I subtracting or adding to this situation. If you are subtracting you may need another approach or to withdraw from the situation.
The Quakers who are famous for using consensus decision-making have three ways you consent to an action. One is to say yes which means you will work toward that end. The other is to say I do not agree but I do not feel strong enough about it to oppose movement forward. Then of course another is to say I not only say no but refuse to let you go forward. Now in theory most of us if we are honest would fall in the second category of I disagree but I do not really care that much about this issue so go ahead. Truth be known my opinion on most things does not matter only an overblown ego thinks otherwise. You can be a discourager if every opinion of yours is held as of ultimate importance. Sometimes it is best to let people go ahead.
In life we can be additions or subtractions; it is in our hands. Hopefully we want to be encouragers who do not stand in the way of others trying to move forward.
They say America has been on the wrong track since Abe’s time. They love America. Teddy bad Woody bad Frankie bad. Cooley is the man. New Deal did not help with the Great Depression. We represent the real America. MLK Jr. would have been a conservative today. We have always been the party of Lincoln striving for black equality. Blacks should vote for us. Hot is cold. You were taught wrong. Public education has ruined us. Harvard and Yale professors who study their subjects for years do not know what they are talking about. Me without any degrees I am the expert listen to me. Even though I daily proclaim the demise of America I am the one with a hope for this country. We need guns to protect us from our country but I am the true America.
So the revisionist thinking goes on and on. I am convinced if you can trace the beginnings of our demise of our country at least as far back as Lincoln you probably have never liked our country and should not proclaim yourself patriot but a mere citizen. Unhappy citizen at that. In fact I have decided you are not revisionists but contrarians. And if one goes by the wealthy lifestyles of talk radio hosts contrarianism is quite profitable.
I have always viewed contrarians as people in need of attention. It is different to express an alternative view then to rewrite the whole of history. We cannot agree today because we act as contrarians and feel a need to win every conversation. An alternative opinion needs expression but not dominance.
Spiritually speaking people who are contrarian are looking for ways to rise to power. They need attention and the power to make others assent to their views. It is Lucifer in the court of Heaven. Now Heaven is a pretty good place by anyone’s estimation and has been functioning well for eons but Lucifer has some problems and not only must he voice them he must ascend to the seat of power. There is no reasoning with him. So in the end he gains a place that does not have all the perks of the previous place. But Hell he can rule and call it his own at least for the time being.
He creates his own realm in the larger realm and secludes himself from the rest. He even has an alternative view of how things are going. It is not like no one else found fault with Heaven because some joined him but still ….
So we are now living in the hell our divisive politics have created. Nativism, violence, bigotry thrives because we feel an overwhelming need to be contrarian. We will oppose everything the President does. It does not matter what it may be. We even celebrate contrarians, give them places of power because we like them to tell it like it is. Now it is what we in yesteryears considered impolite or impolitic but that is okay because we must save a nation that has been going wrong since the mid 19th century. So if we destroy it we have not lost anything and besides my views are more important than treating others with inherent, justice, and love.
Welcome to the new America where the new boss is just like the old King.