Thursday, August 21, 2008
What is on Your To-Do List Today?
Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones died yesterday ...
When I saw the news through my Google alert, I went to my To-Do list. And found the notation:
"Contact Tubbs-Jones office re: Medicare Improvement Bill, see attached email) for interview on Cleveland Talks! Provide local cell# for callback."
(btw: I produce several talk shows on BlogTalkRadio. Cleveland Talks! is one of them.)
You see, I was a constituent. I was on her email list. I let my voice be heard, regularly. I always got a response. I did not make the call on that day. Too busy, schedule too full on that day, moved to the next day, then the next ...
Facing the list again last night, a note scribbled in haste, I had to pause. I did not complete the task. A missed opportunity. I have to cross it off the list now. I had to pause. And write this blog.
Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones was an icon in the truest sense of the word. Not a self-proclaimed "Diva" - a word so overused in today's culture that it has become meaningless. She was approachable, accessible, a sister, a mother, a community advocate, an effective politician, a neighbor, a girlfriend, and strong ally that worked tirelessly through a life dedicated to living honorably. And, pursuing the greater good.
When I was a child, they taught Civics, and Social Studies, and Good Citizenship. And Community Service. (btw: that was before "community service" was categorized and issued as a punishment because the county jail is too full to contain another community delinquent)
When I was a child, I wanted to be an astronaut. Or, a Supreme Court Justice.
My love for mathematics ended at trigonometry. So, in college I majored in Political Science and moved to the greater Washington, DC area to earn some cash and continue my education. I did not become a judge, or a lawyer, or a paralegal. Although, I did serve as a court recorder for a brief period (Think electronic recordings, microphones, wires). The guy crawling under the table adjusting the cable connections just before the BIG briefings on the Hill. I was "that" guy - or gal. It was fun. Then I moved on. But I hung around the scene for 2 decades and worked it. Part of "the entourage" and "in the know" - it was an addiction. A drain. A thrill. And I loved it. Then I moved on. Or, I should say that I moved "back" - to oHIo.
And people ask me, "So, what do you do [now]?"
And I asked myself that last night. And this morning, my hometown is in mourning. What DO I do, for the greater good?
I try to think more about others than myself. And when I fail to do so, I try again. (Note to self: try again)
I amplify the voices of others (btw: see Encourage Me I'm Young). I write inspirational books for adults and chapter books for children. I tutor inner city children in the gymnasiums of schools in "academic failure" and teach Bible lessons in church basements to adults. I bake cookies and give them away. I don't complain about my neighbors hedges being too high, unless I am in the mood to help trim them. Or when the neighborhood fireworks display runs on until 3:00am because, after all, it's only once a year. God bless America!
I stopped hating on Oprah, and Rosie, and Brittany, and Paris, and Condi, and all the others whose lives I DO NOT know and handle pressure that I can not imagine. I buy bags of peaches or beets when I visit the local farmer's market. I hate peaches and beets. But, my sister loves them. I feed the birds. And the skinny neighborhood cats. I plant flowers that attract butterflies so that the little children can chase them. I give treats to my little dog and bring enough to share with his little doggy friends. I try to care. About things, about people, and their situations. Locally, globally, eternally.
I lift young people on my shoulders and say "Can you see the future? I can. And it's glorious. And it's all for you. Can you see it? I can. I can see it in you."
(btw: Please listen to Cleveland Talks! E-City Teen Entrepreneurs)
This is about Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones.
And my To-Do List.
Before I cross that missed opportunity off my list, what will I replace it with?
What will I do today, instead?
What will you do today? (note to self: try again)
Thanks for reading my blog.
(btw: please listen to Tony Reeve's "In The Know" podcast with Former State Senator Leslie Miller)
And do something today...for the greater good.