Recently, I retired early from my career as a public administrator due to health complications arising from having Crohn’s Disease, short bowel syndrome, a venous catheter, hypertension, etc. Early retirement is not something I really wanted to happen because I enjoyed what I did on a daily basis.
And exactly what was that? Basically, it was learning about community issues. Boiling them down to their essence, and then making recommendations to an elected body about how to address the issue and move forward. It was stimulating, and made me feel like I was making a difference in the world.
I can hear many of you now saying…..really? Elected officials and politics in this caustic environment? Well, working with elected officials in local government is less about partisan politics and more about improving a local community. At its core, it is about building relationships as well as sharing ideas and solutions. I can honestly say that I am friends and colleagues with very conservative community leaders, and very liberal community leaders (as well as those that consider themselves somewhere else along the spectrum of thought). Because at the end of the day, conservatives, moderates, and liberals want recommendations on how to improve and maintain a high quality of life for their associates, friends and family. Granted, they have different risk tolerances, priorities, and even values. But I have found that almost all local, elected officials are open to listening to good ideas. Of course, they will not approve each one, but they traditionally listen and are willing to learn about issues.
Unfortunately, sometimes life is not about getting, receiving, or achieving everything you want, but responding to the circumstances that are placed in front of you. Often, it is about creating resilience or ‘grit’ as Angela Duckworth writes about. So, here I am…faced with a situation I did not choose but one that is real: What am I going to do with the rest of my life now that my body won’t allow me to work like it has for the past 25 years?
I have decided that part of that answer includes creating a website/blog where I can share ideas with those in the social sector (i.e. elected officials, business leaders, education professionals, clergy, non-profit professionals, philanthropists) to consider. My goal is not to convince people that my idea is right, but to serve as a catalyst to move a necessary conversation forward.
It is my intention to write at least one, quality post a week for the next year on a current event, a long-standing social issue, and/or an idea on how to improve the social condition. I intend to focus on Michigan issues, but may occasionally reach out into national news to discuss how a decision or current event could impact us in the Great Lake State. After a year, I will reevaluate the site purpose and whether or not to continue. So I hope that you can make a commitment to reading 52 or so ideas, and if you think they are worthy of consideration to share them with a colleague, friend or loved one.
Many people that create personal websites and/or blogs hope to monetize the site in some way via selling advertising or follower names to other companies. I do not want to engage in that type of activity, so I will not. This site is about my thoughts and ideas, not trying to make money.
Last, I am sure that during the next 52 weeks some of my bias developed over a 25-year career will be revealed. I hope to tackle the pros/cons of these bias head on so they are not a secret, and people understand how I came to them. We will see how that goes, and cross that bridge when we need to do so.
So welcome to IdeastoConsider.com I hope we enjoy the ride together.