Yesterday after listening to President Obama, I was reminded of a professor in my undergraduate days, those most important days, who began his first lecture by announcing that he loved science, but that he was here teaching science because he also loved humanity.
This link with Obama will have to be imagined, as for the present, I have another link to make.
I might say that I love politics but my interest in politics is because of my interest in my community (or in humanity).
At this point, it has occurred to me that all members of Shorewood's Village Board individually and collectively might begin their first session after the election by saying, that they love the power that comes with authority, but that they love the citizens of Shorewood even more.
They then could also say that they “are fascinated with those who are on the Internet observing and writing about the policies that we develop in the interest of Shorewood's development and we want to inter into more discussion with them.”
And because of board members' growing fascination that they are going to both listen carefully to what the citizens have to say because of their love for them but they are going to discuss their interests in every detail for the same reason.
This of course would require some rethinking or as is said today, hitting of the re-set button. Some of us have written about policies developed and that we have followed here in Shorewood but with little or no comment made in response by elected officials.
These are persons inclined toward political debate in running for political office but are at a loss for words when it comes to responding to comments and criticism.
If they love their citizens they cannot continue as whole body or individually to stand in defense of all their policies.
We've learned that seven people are less defensive in terms of criticism aimed at the whole board rather than at them as individuals. No individual is usually likely to take personally the criticism of the collective unit and therefore tends to nestle himself or herself within the security and silence of the whole.
There's even a collective feeling of strength when the criticism is aimed at the whole team rather than at an isolated individual member. The whole team can stand against the one doing the criticizing merely by ignoring the criticism.
There's a great number of analyses and comments that can be made as to this state of affairs, but in the interest of brevity, I will get down to the main point of this writing.
If the President loves the country and the science professor loves humanity and the city planner loves his community, then those who are elected to local office would of course love their citizens and should find ways of discussing things together.
Discussion would lead to less criticism and to more understanding. If there is to be no response to the bloggers, then how about regular town hall-type meetings? At least individual board members should feel that they can respond without being critized for doing so by the rest of the board.