Getting to know the other half
It seems to me no bad thing that people standing for public office let others see them as they are.
We all make mistakes, do stupid things, overlook what we ought to attend to – all that.
It is not unreasonable to let others understand we are as like them as not.
Once we might have thought all those people were of a different ilk, just as some people think the royal family are like the holy family and expect naught but goodness from them.
Happily they are flesh and blood like we are, battling to do their best to get through it all.
If we understand that, it is marginally easier to choose which way to vote to place people on councils and committees, boards and parliaments.
It becomes a matter of choosing people and parties who see things as we do ourselves. or people whose vision of the future tallies with our own.
Have we a vision? Not always, so those who provide an acceptable vision for us, of our town, province, country or society – they will get the nod.
We don't want people too much smarter than us as they will forever be a jump ahead taking control and with good reason.
Best to choose more ordinary people, good people whose aims we can applaud, whose motives are clear, whose words ring true, people we can trust.
See, mostly we surround ourselves with people like ourselves, people who enjoy the books we read the music we like, people who probably vote as we do.
And it is hard to step out of this.
Just this week I did, unwittingly; seeing for the first time people begging – no other word for it – on Esk street.
The first was a young woman, thin and pale who stopped me and asked if I could give her some money. I said of course and gave her a note saying I hoped it would help, She said thank you and moved away.
Over the road a guy sat on his folded jacket an empty tin at his feet and a sign saying help me get my gear back.
I had two gold coins and as he took them he surprised me by saying "My band gear. I need it."