“If you don’t vote, don’t bitch.”
These are the words of a very influential woman in my life. A woman who for nearly 100 years limits her vocabulary of curse words to “oh, sugar!” and “fiddle-faddle”. That is until she is talking about voting.
“If you don’t vote, don’t bitch.” is just one of the many things that my grandmother has taught me. Over the years she has always supported me; right or wrong, through thick and thin, and in spite of some poor choices I made in my teenage years. She has always tried to lead me down the right path. Something must have sunk into my brain because I vote and I bitch. I hope that she is proud of that. And I hope she will continue to support me and my decisions.
Especially when I tell her that voting and bitching is just not good enough for me anymore.
My sisters and brothers and I have been very blessed. Our parents have dedicated almost all of their adult lives to their family as well as fostering dozens of special needs children over the years. Most people slow down when they reach their 60’s, but not my parents. They are still going strong despite the years of heartbreak and stress that goes with the territory of fostering. They have sacrificed their social lives and free time to ensure that others receive the care and attention that is required to give others the opportunities in life that they themselves have forfeited. They have become heroes to all of those children. They have always been heroes in my eyes.
I hope they will understand when I tell them that voting and bitching is just not good enough for me anymore.
Growing up, my brothers and sisters and I were fortunate enough to share many memories with all of our grandparents. George and Jean Dodge taught us the importance of hard work, dedication, and education. Whether it was working the vegetable garden on the farm, or water skiing on Gould Lake, baking world famous oatmeal cookies, or counting change for the Cancer Society, it is always necessary to do things the best that you can. Take pride in what you do.
Don and Doris Bower taught us love and support, business smarts and the importance of helping others in the community. Whether it was teaching children, or Rotary Club work, or creating mentoring programs for troubled and underprivileged youth, they taught us the immense pride and satisfaction of doing these things humbly and without the need of being in the spotlight. I have yet to meet anyone who did not hold Don and Doris in the highest regard and with sincere, utmost respect.
I hope that they would understand that it is not the spotlight I am looking for now. It’s time for more than that. It’s time to throw my hat in the ring and make an honest effort to help others.
2014 will be my first attempt at running for Guelph City Council.
Ward 3 has a desperate need for a representative that is on their level and who understands the roots of our community. Ward 3 needs a representative who is rational, able to think clearly under pressure, and can use common sense regularly while keeping at heart the best interests of the residents. Ward 3 needs a representative who experiences the same trials and tribulations of daily life that they do. The people that have shaped and influenced my life have instilled on me the value and importance of these things. It’s time I do something more with it.
I’m sorry Grandma but you were only half right. Because voting and bitching just isn’t enough for me anymore.