Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones died yesterday …
When I saw the news through my Google alert, I went to my To-Do list. And found the notation:
“Contact Tubbs-Jones office re: Medicare Improvement Bill, see attached email) for interview on Cleveland Talks! Provide local cell# for callback.”
(btw: I produce several talk shows on BlogTalkRadio. Cleveland Talks! is one of them.)
You see, I was a constituent. I was on her email list. I let my voice be heard, regularly. I always got a response. I did not make the call on that day. Too busy, schedule too full on that day, moved to the next day, then the next …
Facing the list again last night, a note scribbled in haste, I had to pause. I did not complete the task. A missed opportunity. I have to cross it off the list now. I had to pause. And write this blog.
Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones was an icon in the truest sense of the word. Not a self-proclaimed “Diva” – a word so overused in today’s culture that it has become meaningless. She was approachable, accessible, a sister, a mother, a community advocate, an effective politician, a neighbor, a girlfriend, and strong ally that worked tirelessly through a life dedicated to living honorably. And, pursuing the greater good.
When I was a child, they taught Civics, and Social Studies, and Good Citizenship. And Community Service. (btw: that was before “community service” was categorized and issued as a punishment because the county jail is too full to contain another community delinquent)
When I was a child, I wanted to be an astronaut. Or, a Supreme Court Justice.
My love for mathematics ended at trigonometry. So, in college I majored in Political Science and moved to the greater Washington, DC area to earn some cash and continue my education. I did not become a judge, or a lawyer, or a paralegal. Although, I did serve as a court recorder for a brief period (Think electronic recordings, microphones, wires). The guy crawling under the table adjusting the cable connections just before the BIG briefings on the Hill. I was “that” guy – or gal. It was fun. Then I moved on. But I hung around the scene for 2 decades and worked it. Part of “the entourage” and “in the know” – it was an addiction. A drain. A thrill. And I loved it. Then I moved on. Or, I should say that I moved “back” – to oHIo.
And people ask me, “So, what do you do [now]?”
And I asked myself that last night. And this morning, my hometown is in mourning. What DO I do, for the greater good?
I try to think more about others than myself. And when I fail to do so, I try again. (Note to self: try again)
I amplify the voices of others (btw: see Encourage Me I’m Young). I write inspirational books for adults and chapter books for children. I tutor inner city children in the gymnasiums of schools in “academic failure” and teach Bible lessons in church basements to adults. I bake cookies and give them away. I don’t complain about my neighbors hedges being too high, unless I am in the mood to help trim them. Or when the neighborhood fireworks display runs on until 3:00am because, after all, it’s only once a year. God bless America!
I stopped hating on Oprah, and Rosie, and Brittany, and Paris, and Condi, and all the others whose lives I DO NOT know and handle pressure that I can not imagine. I buy bags of peaches or beets when I visit the local farmer’s market. I hate peaches and beets. But, my sister loves them. I feed the birds. And the skinny neighborhood cats. I plant flowers that attract butterflies so that the little children can chase them. I give treats to my little dog and bring enough to share with his little doggy friends. I try to care. About things, about people, and their situations. Locally, globally, eternally.
I lift young people on my shoulders and say “Can you see the future? I can. And it’s glorious. And it’s all for you. Can you see it? I can. I can see it in you.”
(btw: Please listen to Cleveland Talks! E-City Teen Entrepreneurs)
This is about Representative Stephanie Tubbs-Jones.
And my To-Do List.
Before I cross that missed opportunity off my list, what will I replace it with?
What will I do today, instead?
What will you do today? (note to self: try again)
Thanks for reading my blog.
And do something today…for the greater good.