Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Giving of Thanks

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If you think about it, sometimes, you can be thankful for things you never imagined.

For instance, I’m (sort of) thankful for a man I’ve never met, who sold some beautiful land, in my hometown, to some people who wanted to build an Indian casino.

Because it made me come back.

And because it made me sit through my first selectman’s meeting, ever.

Which made me realize I should have been going to selectman’s meetings ever since I’ve been able to vote.

And that made me realize the importance, depleted by years of cynicism and the electoral college, of my one vote. Of my one voice. And of my, and of everyone’s participation in our government.

And I’m thankful for the people of character I’ve met, through a rare hardship we’ve all shared.

I’m also thankful that the few talents I possess have been of some small value to a cause I truly believe in.

I’m even thankful to have been silenced, so that I learned to speak louder.

And thankful to have been edited, so that I wrote more.

I’m thankful for my opponents, however callous, vicious, or persistent, because they've made me realize I can be strong. And I wish them all the happiest of holidays.

I’m thankful to have been born into this time, and this place, which offers me opportunities my predecessors never had, to be counted.

I’m thankful for those people I so admire – the ones who’ve asked me to participate in this fight, and to step outside a place I found safe, and in doing so, to become more than I thought I could ever be.

I’m thankful I’ve had to venture beyond my boundaries, to have faced my fears, to have stood up, to have raised my voice - because I never might have.

I’m so thankful for discovering new places, finding new friends, and for witnessing the leadership of others.

And I’m thankful for you - sincerely thankful for your humor, your kind words, and of your support.

And I'm thankful, more than anything, for my family and friends, who’ve stood by me and supported me through this incredible year. I always just wanted to be there, 24/7, for them, yet in the past 8 months, they seemed to spend 24/7 watching me run off to meetings, rallies, forums and cancel plans, spend hours at the computer, or be otherwise unavailable. Despite this, when they could, they've willingly joined me in the effort. For that, and for everything else, I am humbled.

My friend Jesse Powell always concludes her e-mails with a quote from Margaret Mead:

'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”

When I unknowingly entered this ring, back in May, I thought that sentiment was hopeful, quaint, optimistic.

Now, as I dust myself off from the latest fray, look around at my collegues still there, I understand it’s truth. It’s strength. It’s promise.

We've made a difference.

And so, while I’ll never be thankful for this predicament, I hope you'll understand that I’ll ever be thankful for the challenge.

Love and Thanks!
Gladys

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Gladys,
I have been truly blessed knowing you, watching your commitment, and your wondrous talent for humor even when condemning, and your personal growth through this process.
You've been an inspiration!
There is much to be thankful for this year --- especially those who ventured across the border to unite in the fray.
Jessie

jacquie said...

Gladys,

Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving. You made my day with the "no casino" turkey!
Thank YOU for all that you've done.

carverchick said...

Gladys,

You have been a pillar of strength through all of this. You are an inspiration to us all. You have shown the courage and the talent to say what the rest of us are thinking. Your commitment, sarifices and unwillingness to falter in the face of adversity is proof positive that each and every one of us can make difference and actually be the change we want to see in this world. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Rockwell's "NO CASINO". I always wondered why everybody at the table is smiling. It's the no casino turkey, I think I'll enjoy some today. Keep up the good work, all the sane people around here need you. Enjoy your Thanksgiving. What would yesterdays indians think of this mess?

cdplakeville said...

Yes, Gladys, dito to all that and thank you for being one the first to ask me to join in the battle. May there be many victories ahead.

Gladys Kravitz said...

Friends, your words are much too kind.

I hope that you had a wonderful day of Thanks with your families, too.

It has been an honor working beside you in this cause.

AND THANKS TO YOU - FOR EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU - FOR ALL THAT YOU HAVE DONE!

It hasn't always been easy, it never always is, but we'll win it.

Do you realize that early this year, Jessie was watching selectmans's meetings, becoming outraged and began handing out voter registration cards and getting recall petitions signed? In April Jacquie heard about a casino coming and gathered some friends together to form a grassroots organization. I came down from Bridgewater to learn more, watched a lawyer tell Jacquie and the rest it was a 'done deal', and joined the fight. This summer I spoke to people in Carver about what I saw in Middleboro. Carverchick was in that audience and would soon become one of her town's stongest voices. Meanwhile, other concerned town governments became part of the Regional Task Force, prompting cdplakeville to attend their first meeting and form his own opinion of Middleboro 'leadership'. He's now on the CFO board of directors. Seven towns have now voted to oppose a Middleboro casino. And it's only November. 8 months. Could it be true, what Jessie tells me, that good government will spread?

Anonymous said...

Ah, my words come back to haunt, Gladys!
It takes time, but voters have approached me to indicate their regret at not supporting the Recall. Others are now watching the meetings regularly on cable and are horrified by the conduct.
The BOS have become an embarrassment. Selectman Spataro has returned to his giggling routine, attending meetings clearly unprepared, punctuated with nonsensical comments.
Voters recognize bad government for what it is.
Many were horrified at the Gavel Queen's refusal to allow me to ask a question.
Voters are reading the Town Charter & ByLaws, the DOR Report, the Auditors' Report and beginning to understand the incompetence and ask questions. They recognize that the Finance Committee is being denied information and excluded from the process. And they recognize the 'interim' Town Manager for what he is.
It takes time for voters to understand the function of town government, especially when it's this poor, but will continue to grow.
Several voters have asked about the Town's recycling program that should be posted on the Town's Web Site.
Others have commented about how pathetic the Town's Web Site is and how the Town should be ashamed of it.
Friends of mine from surrounding towns are becoming involved in their communities as a consequence of Middleboro's fiasco.
It takes time to learn about how town government should work, but it will grow and spread.
Middleboro has taught people what happens when you don't pay attention to your Town government.
Jessie

Anonymous said...

Gladys,
Your stories of sad affairs are beautifully written with wit, humor, and sacasm,(my favorite).
PLEASE KEEP WRITING YOUR FORTE, POLITICAL SATIRE, this is when your at the top of your game. Proven points: look at the uproar you create, go into town & listen to what people are taking about, good or bad, their talking & the more they talk & complain the more people WANT to read you to see what it is all about, curiosity over comes them!!! DON'T STOP!!
I believe every town needs a Jessie, I also now believe every politican needs a Gladys.
THANK YOU BOTH!!
Judy

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