Mayors Corner 6/11/20

Dear Friends:

Our country and our world are seeing a great deal of turmoil these days.  It’s my experience that all too often, misunderstanding breeds contempt.  That can hold equally true on the National Mall or in our own personal dining hall.

It saddens me that still today, in 2020, we haven’t overcome attitudes that have divided us for decades and even centuries.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, needs to do and be better.  When I hear the phrase, Black Lives Matter, my reaction may be simplistic, but it’s heartfelt —“Of Course They Do.”

Lack of understanding affects us every day.  We’ve been tending our two year-old grandson for a few days.  He’s cute, he’s smart, and he jabbers on incessantly.  If grandma (aka She Who Shall Not Be Named – SWSNBN) were not with us, I pretty much wouldn’t have a clue what he wants.  He does point at things, whereupon I say, “you can’t have that.”   Then, when much crying takes place, I decide to figure out what he wants and give it to him.

Understanding others is the great challenge of any age. We only have to miss one word in a sentence, or perhaps misinterpret the emphasis on a certain phrase, and suddenly the entire message is misunderstood.  Wars have been fought over these errors.

Often, the very best Ogden Family entertainment involves grandpa, thinking he knows what the conversation is all about, suddenly blurting out a comment or answer that is entirely off the subject.  I have an excuse --- I can’t hear!  But snickers turn to belly laughs and I’m left with the choice of laughing at myself or taking offense and leaving the party.  I’ve warned them all that their turn is coming, but I’m also completely sure that I won’t be here to enjoy it.

I have been promised by SWSNBN that the more I say on emotionally-charged subjects, the deeper the hole I will dig, and the harder it will be to climb out of that hole. As always, she is absolutely right.

So I’ll leave you with this simple thought.  Trying to see another’s point of view requires crossing a distance and looking back.  Sometimes you’ll see only an unrecognizable landscape. But it’s the trying part that is a must.  It’s the only way we begin to see the path that lies behind and between fellow travelers.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayors Corner

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