Before I share my thoughts on last nights forum, I wanted to take a moment to say a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to our outgoing mayor and council. Your job hasn't been easy, and in many situations incredibly thankless. Please know there is no greater gift that the gift of your time. Thank you for your passion, your vision and your strong desire to do what is right for the citizens of Beaumont. We are grateful for your leadership, for your sacrifices, and for your commitment.
Last nights forum for Beaumont Town Council hopefuls has come and gone leaving many of us contemplating where our votes will go, and further researching candidates we were hearing from for the very first time.
Thank you to Beaumont Chamber of Commerce for organizing this event and giving us, the citizens, the opportunity to capture a glimpse of all those vying to be our representatives in the municipal level democratic process for the next four years. I was enlightened and l appreciated all the different backgrounds and perspectives on the hot button issues in our community.
With the state of the world today I found myself, at times, fighting tears witnessing the beauty of what it truly meanse to be Canadian. You do not have to be born here... Neither English or French has to be your first language... and yet you are able to freely stand tall and proudly speak about the community you dearly love hoping to capture enough votes to be granted the opportunity to leave a positive impact on its governance as one of your legacies of this life.
I am so excited that there are so many passionate people who love Beaumont and want to do right by its citizens. My take away from last night is that our future is SO bright. There are 20 candidates hoping to fill the six seats in council chambers.
As an advocate for showing love for our community through service and volunteerism may those who aren't elected on find alternate ways to channel their passions for Beaumont and continue to positively influence our community through volunteerism.
We are at the precipice of change in our community. We will have a new mayor. We have a new Chief Administration Officer, a new fire chief and a new leader of our local RCMP. We have only two incumbent council members on the ballot. We are at an era of new blood, fresh ideas, and new beginnings. Exciting, and terrifying all at the same time.
It is no secret I am a proud and supportive wife of one of the 20 vying for a seat at the table in council chambers. To him I wish to say... as always it is my greatest happiness in this life is to sit in my front row seat witnessing your moments to shine. I feel so blessed to be maneuvering this life with you by my side. The example you continue to set for our children is immense and I am very grateful they get to call you dad.
Any whom I have had a candid conversation with regarding this election, know this is not my favourite situation to be in. I am not a competitive person- at all. I believe in loving and accepting all people first. I believe in seeing people as beautiful perfect souls trying to maneuver this life in an imperfect shell... I believe everyone is just doing their own 'next right thing', trying to make their time on the green side of the grass as meaningful as possible.
Words really matter to me. I have built a successful business on the power of words and how they can influence, empower and inspire each of us to authenticity show up and walk in our truth each and every day.
Simply put, I believe wholeheartedly in kindness - even when there is a disagreement.
But, when used as weapons, words can be my nemesis.
Some of the harsh words, judgments, and name calling I have witnessed in the early stages of this election have been very hard on my spirit. As one who gains strength and energy from small groups having heartfelt and soulful connections, I knew my introverted spirit would have to armor up and I would have to clearly define my boundaries in order to protect my peace, so I could show up and authentically support the one I love most in the world to realize one of his dreams.
I have effectively used the Facebook 'block' and 'unfollow' functionality to shield myself from seeing things that would not add value to my role in this process.
Last night, after the forum, I sat at the end of a very long table at a beloved local establishment that, as serendipity would have it, advocated for 'positive politics' not that long ago. I witnessed many of the 20 council hopefuls lightheartedly laughing, toasting, and sharing their thoughts on the grueling 2 hours they had just endured - together.
They opened up and reminisced about what questions they answered from the floor, presented to them at the mercy of the random draw by the moderator. They consoled and related to their fellow candidates who got 'that' question and stumbled for a suitable answer. They congratulated each other, they supported each other, they laughed... and they connected.
For an amazing extended period of time, their disagreements on busing, garbage, relationships with neighboring communities, or rec centres were irrelevant. It didn't matter that there were way more than 6 people sitting around that table - in fact the more who came, the merrier it got. They all dropped their defenses and spoke about their human experiences, as humans. They learned about each other kids, and jobs and hobbies. They toasted a job well done by all for simply just showing up to express and be accountable for their opinions in a very public way. As more would arrive, they didn't have to ask to join the table. It was automatic, they were immediately welcomed and absorbed by this group. There was a seat for absolutely everyone at the table. People would stand and shuffle, another table would be added, then another, and then another. They would then move chairs to sit by someone new, and chat and laugh and relate. Designated drivers were determined, more spirits were ordered and camaraderie was established. It was an incredibly beautiful thing to witness...
I left that establishment after this impromptu gathering with a deeply seated feeling of HOPE instilled upon me by sitting at a table of passionate people with nothing but a strong desire to do a little good in our community. THIS is the Beaumont I love.
There is SO much potential. Beaumont, your future is so very bright.
So, if you are reading this, and if you are from Beaumont, or any other Municipality ready to undergo election, I strongly encourage you to do your own research and make your own informed choice on October 16. Make your opinion count.
|Photo courtesy of Ealanta Photography|