Soldotna City Council: Baxter: ‘What more can I do today?’

  • By Keith Baxter
  • Thursday, September 28, 2017 9:31am
  • Opinion

Today we see many people on the sidelines of public service, paying enough attention to be critical of actions taken on current events, but never entering the arena themselves. Some go as far as to call in to a radio show, or submit an opinion editorial, but public comments and testimony at the Legislative Information Office, Borough Chambers, and City Hall are harder to come by.

Don’t get me wrong, there is certainly a contingent of the population whom behave as if all those elected to public office are the “Sheriffs of Nottingham,” and they are the proverbial “Robin Hood,” serving the true interests of the community, and giving a “voice to the people.” The most popular forum of course, has become the internet. Each day on social media threads, you can find people reminiscing about our past, and spreading fear and concern about the future of Alaska.

When I feel myself sliding in to this way of thinking, I have to remind myself: life is now. Life is not what it was, or what you had wanted it to become in years gone by. Life is not what you intend for it to be someday in the future. Life is now. Life is today. That is all we have to work with: a succession of todays, starting with now.

In my estimation, the reality is that there are no “Sheriffs of Nottingham,” and there are no “Robin Hoods” (or “Prince Johns” or “King Georges” for that matter). These are fictional characters. One-dimensional archetypes that are not found personified in the nuanced, empirical reality we each shape and share.

So what is my point? What am I getting at? Well, at the ripe old age of 34 I still find myself falling victim to the “someday” way of thinking. Lamenting things that have passed, criticizing things that occur, and anxiously speculating about the future. Yes, it’s true; I also feel the compulsion to wait for someday. Someday I will say or write something that will make a real difference. Someday I will have a job that will make a greater impact. Someday I will serve in a capacity that will allow me to affect more positive change. So I constantly strive to remind myself, there are no somedays.

The notion of doing what you can from where you are is not as exciting and romantic as Hollywood makes change out to be; but that’s how things happen. Each day we arise and do things, living with the consequences of previous actions, and shaping the consequences we will endure when we arise and take the stage in the future.

I challenge everyone reading this opinion editorial. Don’t wait to make a difference. Don’t wait for someday. After your next social media post, letter to the editor, call to the radio station, or public testimony, ask yourself “what more can I do today.”

If we work together, I believe that we can keep life in this part of the world good.