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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Building a Supportive Environment

The story is told of a man who came home one day and informed his wife that he had just lost his job. The wife, instead of being upset, smiled and said that it was good, he would now have time to write the book he had talked about. The man was confused and asked how the bills would be paid if he took time off to write his book.

The wife smiled again and informed him that she believed in him. Over the past few years she had tucked away money from each week's pay and had enough to last them a year. Over that year, the book was written and began selling well, enough that the author was able to continue his new career.

"The Scarlet Letter" was the first novel of Nathaniel Hawthorne and is considered one of the all-time classic novels. It raised an unknown man to literary prominence, a recognition that last to this very day.

And it all started with the loving support of Hawthorne's wife.

This is not the only case of success in which such support can be cited as the influencing force. Over the years nearly every Olympic medalist has cited the support of their family and friends as the driving force in their success. I could continue with examples ad nauseum, but you get the picture.

This same rule of support applies to our social, environmental and political movements as well. Our leaders need a level of faithful support to achieve success in their endeavors, just as Hawthorne needed it from his wife.

It is frequently easier to criticize an idea or proposal than to support it, yet if we are going to make any headway in finding solutions to the problems we face today, we must overcome this pattern of criticism.

Case at point:

Governor Ritter of Colorado proposed massive changes for Colorado to position it as a leader in the fight against global warming and environmental destruction. Yet critics have openly condemned the proposals. They did not do so because the changes would have been bad for Colorado. They condemned them because Colorado alone executing the changes would have little impact on the problems.

I have just one thing to say about this:


The whole idea was, and remains, for Colorado to become a leader in these issues. By setting the example, Colorado can inspire others to take up the changes, spreading the effects of those changes across the nation and, hopefully, around the world. It is not easy to be a leader. The one who would be leader must take bold stands and push for common sense changes to social policies. When such leadership is presented, we as citizens must show our support.

I am not talking about blind obedience to political figures, but faith that such ideas can work, that we as a community can make a difference. I am talking about faith in ourselves and about taking personal responsibility for solving the crisis that looms before us.

When Ritter took office, I initially had my doubts about him. I am proud to say that at least some of my concerns were washed away when he stepped up with his proposals. I see him today as a leader. As such, he is exactly what Colorado, and our nation, needs.

All he needs is a little support from his friends and family.

I know he has mine.

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