Wednesday, July 21, 2004

On caring enough to care

Okay, so in District 5 of the Muscogee County School Board, the wrong guy got elected. It's happened before. This time, it hits a little closer to home simply because the right guy happened to be my own dad. But there's no crying in baseball, and rubbin' is racin'; there will be no Florida-style recount, and to concentrate on the fifty-one percent who voted for the wrong guy would a) be sour-grapey and b) completely ignore the most important fact, which is that my dad ran in the first place.

Words can't describe how proud I am of my dad. Ever since the family moved to Columbus in 1991, he (we all, really) recognized that the school board left some room for improvement. There was a lot of Columbus-society "old money" flying around, a lot of politics, a lot of big egos, none of which contributed anything positive to the education of kids in Muscogee County. But instead of just sitting around bitching about it, like ninety-nine percent of the people in Columbus, my dad decided to do something about it and run for public office.

Honestly, Dad has so many other responsibilities, it's a wonder he had time. He's a family physician and the kind of doctor who really, sincerely cares about his patients - each of them gets as much time with him as they need, he'll answer a call at any time of the day or night, and with the number of low-income patients he sees every day, this is not a job that's keeping him in Mercedes convertibles. He honestly cares about his patients. And he cares about his family, too, his wife and two kids. You'd think that he'd be just about cared out.

But that doesn't happen with people like my dad. He has an infinite capacity for that kind of caring, and that extends to the kids in Columbus, Georgia. He cared enough to further extend himself and put himself out in the hopes that he could make a difference in the lives of all of those kids. That, in the end, voters chose the incumbent over the challenger, is to me far less significant than the fact that forty-nine percent of voters thought that my dad was the person in District 5 who would make their schools better, and the fact that he cared enough to run at all. The fact that he saw room for improvement and instead of bitching about it, instead of just sitting around and griping to his friends or starting a blog, he stepped up to the plate for his try at changing the world. Would that we all had the guts to do what he did.

More on this from my parents' other kid at GWBWYPGN?!.

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