As the local election days have drawn to a close, I wanted to take a few minutes and thank all of those who have put themselves out front to run for political office. Having never stepped out on that platform, I cannot imagine what the candidates have taken on during the last few months. They have given up time with their families and most have contributed financially to their respective campaigns. They have attended many gatherings, political rallies, government meetings, and other such events. They have worked tirelessly to be able to serve their communities. Most have probably even had to endure lectures and other opinions that were not the most positive in nature. Questions and requests that are not even in the realm of responsibility of the offices they are seeking have been thrown at the potential office seekers.
I am sure many miles have been walked throughout each local city and town. Several pairs of shoes have been worn out, and probably a few pounds were lost campaigning in the hot summer in the south. Lots of water has been consumed and a lot of sweat poured out. Many doors have knocked on and much time has been spent listening to the concerns of each area’s citizens. Also, many have been asked personal questions as to how they will vote in other elections.
I prefer the term public service to political office. Even though in the larger scheme of politics many folks have their own agenda; anyone running for local offices usually are doing so in an altruistic manner. Quoting from many candidates this election season their words were” I want to give back to the community that has been so good to me.” Hence the term public service referring to the service offered to the citizens they are representing. Giving back, paying forward, and working hard to improve the quality of life for each community. In order to be a true leader, you must be willing to serve.
Even though after the election there will be winners and losers of the political races, all will be winners for offering themselves up for the office they were seeking. All who sought office have and will continue to work to make their hometowns better and improve the life of their neighbors. We are lucky as communities to have folks who are willing to sacrifice their time and efforts to make our way of life even better. We thank you all for your willingness to serve.
Randy Garrison is the president and publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer.