Thank you, God, that we could get up this morning in our right minds. Maury County Commissioner Eugene Richardson
Who knows what cookie recipe I baked for that particular meeting. I’ll guess something with coconut. Every once in a blue moon, I’ll crave coconut. The taste is alluring because it is exotic.
Shipping takes who knows how much energy. And whether the coconut hails from Asia, the Philippines or India… We want. What we want. When we want it.
But don’t speak of such things in depth. Too hard to figure a more realistic alternative when it comes to the use of natural resources and delivery of specialty grocery items.
We are not into sacrificial conversations. You know those chats in which we might have to concede something.
For me, baking cookies can be a technique to set the stage for compromise. During the 2009 county budget meeting, the commissioners, after much heated discussion, circled the break table eyeing the cheap junk food used as fuel for round two. That’s where my home baked offering came in.
Coffee and sugar couldn’t hurt. We had sorted through hours of mind numbing facts and preparatory reading done previously at home after work. Not to mention that we were all tax payers. We knew the cost of a dollar.
And everyone was alert to wildly disparate line items for which we must pay or let go. Important things. Things that alter lifestyles and uplift. Things that had been done for decades and were deeply sacred for different groups.
In county government, even without the tedium of party politics, people approach life so differently. Party or no, we tell opposing stories. Do you tell a story of government as a help or hindrance? Life stories are formative to that end. And it’s our story, so we must be right. Right?
With this particular vote, all commissioners were unified on an annual outlay. Just before the final call to cancel an expenditure, a citizen group came to the podium to dissuade and they did. We thought we had all the information to make a budget cut. Hallelujah. But no, not so.
I did not run for county commissioner. I was appointed to replace a vacant position and served for two years. One thing I learned is that flippancy is not a term to connect with democracy. Governing is as complicated as there are people with viewpoints.
Last week, a young friend expressed concern about the lapse in beauty as a priority when it comes to community development. She is unaware of what goes in to zoning laws.
I say to her …. pick a topic, one that has deep meaning for you. And if it is zoning, become well informed. Such an action will require a tremendous amount of time. There will be meetings to attend and experts to consult. But such focus will reap benefits for countless people, even those yet to be born.
You are needed by your governing bodies. Not for critique, but for information and insight.
You will learn patience and fortitude not unlike our veterans had to do. Children will learn from you about how their government works and even if some votes do not suit your personal preference, you will become a vital and respected go-to on your topic.
Choose a topic that will parlay into a more livable community, know your stuff, have good manners and show up for all meetings that pertain.
And remember the finesse and wisdom in the words of the Tao Te Ching when he said, “when two great forces oppose each other, the victory will go to the one that knows how to yield.”
Call me. I’ll bring the cookies.
Morning Glory Breakfast Cookies
Baking cookies has always been a favorite activity of mine. Their construction does not require the exactness of other types of baking.
The combinations available to home baked cookies are more interesting than those of their commercially designed brethren. If certain ingredients are on hand, you can offer peaceful compromise at the drop of a hat.
In doing so, I grieve the small flour mills that once dotted the country. In their stead, I have become a fan of King Arthur’s Flour. The company is 100% employee owned and they have a baker on call. This cookie has been been given a high score by all my people. See Morning Glory Breakfast Cookies at King Arthur Flour
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