Ferry: So glad 2007 is over
Vail CO, Colorado
Well, the New Year is upon us and I for one have never been happier to see a year end. It started with me getting hit while teaching on the mountain with the resultant five broken ribs. And it was mostly downhill from there.
Anyway, it’s over and time to move on. But just what does that mean? Usually, I’m not a very reflective person. My life is so extremely busy that it always seems as though there’s so much to do that looking back simply means you won’t be able to catch up.
But once in a while it pays to assess things. Or re-assess things as the case may be. And part of the real irony of life is that some things change no matter what you do.
Other things never change no matter what you do.
People who know me well are aware of the unforeseen changes that happened in my life this year, things that were totally unexpected and almost inconceivable to deal with. I had two bad accidents. I also had four very close friends die within a six-week period of time. And I can tell you this, with no reservation, it changes your perspective.
And it also makes me wonder about a lot of things. I truly believe it is absolutely necessary to be passionate about the things that you do. You have to fight for what you believe in. And the bottom line for most exercises is whether or not you prevail in the end. So winning becomes part of the equation. But is winning at any cost really what it’s all about?
Over and over I see people compromise themselves in an attempt to get one more notch on their belt. I see political expediency take the place of common sense and good judgment. Or personal gain be the driving force in decision making. There also are those who regularly give up their beliefs in order to fit in or go with the flow or to simply avoid controversy.
On the other hand, I see those that cannot lose gracefully. Who take each and every difference of opinion as a personal assault. Who are unable to let things go and prefer to hold a grudge.
These are the things that we should address as we move in to this New Year. We should learn respect for the views of others. In a small community such as ours, we should value our differences, revel in the fact that they can be shared and try to win or lose without rancor.
In other words, fight like hell and then move on regardless of the outcome.
Having said that, each and every one of us should vow to take an active role in creating a better community. Way too often the only input we share is after the fact, when decisions have been made to our dissatisfaction ” when it is too late to effect a change and the only thing left is to complain.
This is probably the shortest column I have written in what will be five years next month. But there’s really not much that should have to be said about something so basic. Because at the end of the day, all we have is who we are. And all we leave behind is the effect we have had on others. Because ultimately, doesn’t it always come down to the golden rule that we learned as children? Do unto others etc.
So thoughtfulness should play a distinctive role. It is important to weigh what is important. It is also necessary to judiciously pick your battles. And then it is paramount to tackle your goals with commitment and fairness and truth and integrity. Because that will be your only legacy. How you have dealt with this world and those around you.
While I don’t recommend the year I’ve had to anyone, it has been a learning experience. Some times you can get so caught up in what you’re doing that the old two-by-four theory is the only one that works. Remember that? You’ve got to hit ’em with a two-by-four just to get their attention.
I didn’t get hit, but 2007 definitely got my attention.
Do your part: call them and write them. To contact the Town Council, call 479-1860, ext. 8, or e-mail email@example.com. To contact Vail Resorts, call 476-5601 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. For past columns, go to vaildaily.com and click on “Commentary” or search for keyword “ferry.”
Kaye Ferry is a longtime observer of Vail government. She writes a biweekly column for the Daily.