Editorial: Elections are like clothes shopping by Ginger Adams, Sr. Editor March 2019
Last night, my family and I went to the Hangout at Café 23:5 put on by the Willow Park Citizens Group. This morning, when I was driving my 14-year-old son to school for his band sectional we were talking about it and I had an “aha” moment – I was actually trying to make a connection for him and ended up making a connection for myself. Let me explain.
To put it into context, the day before I had taken him shopping for clothes because he said he was tired of wearing the same thing every day. Him being a teenager, I wanted to let him choose what we bought, but he had a really hard time deciding what he liked. We ended up going back and forth between four stores to see everything before he finally made his selection. I reassured him by pointing out that it’s really hard to know what you like and make a decision until you’ve paid attention to all the options. He’s a typical boy – he had never paid attention to his clothing options until came time to make the choice.
Last night at the Hangout, we had two city council members who came. Of course, that brought up the conversation of the upcoming local elections – what seats were up for vote, who was running, and how it all works at the city level anyway.
We were all glad for the discourse, and I appreciated hearing my neighbors’ opinions. One person was concerned about water and didn’t know about the changes that have been made in Willow Park’s water situation over the past year. Another person, who lived by the interstate, described the noise from the traffic during rush hour. I personally live a few miles from the highway, so I never noticed highway noise and didn’t realize it was an issue. It was enlightening to me how each of us has unique perspectives that seem obvious to us because it’s what we see in our own daily routines. It’s hard to imagine that others don’t see it the way we do.
Back to the conversation I had with my son, I realized that each of us pay attention to different things, but we’re all required to wear clothes. We’re also required to live under regulations and decisions made by elected officials. If we don’t pay attention to the choices available when it comes time to vote, we have a really hard time deciding. Whether or not we realize it, our vote, or even our choice not to vote, could mean the difference between wearing comfortable pants with 3% stretchy Spandex for the next couple years or the heavy bell bottoms of yesteryear. My encouragement is to get out of your own busy routine and pay attention. It may take the effort of searching the Internet to find out what issues are on the table where you live and what type of leadership styles different candidates have. You have between now and Star Wars day – May 4th – to find out your options. If you live in Willow Park and want to find out, make sure to stop by one of the weekly Hangouts hosted by Café 23:5 in the Shops at Willow Park. There is no endorsement of any particular candidates – just an open forum to ask questions and discuss. Not only will it be educational, you’ll probably have a “small town” encounter with someone you know. And that’s just plain fun.