Kids’ intro to government eye-opening |

Kids’ intro to government eye-opening

Kaleta Johnson
Vail, CO, Colorado

Our plan was simple. We decided as a family that we should clean the area around the Gypsum recycle bins.

We would call the town offices and inquire about trash bags and disposal of refuse. Now, the trash bags were of little consequence. We would have been more than fine with bringing our own. The thought was maybe they had some heavy-duty variety, as we would be picking up some nasty things.

For instance, someone disposed of a rotting elk carcass behind the roll-offs. The question of where might we drop the bags, or better yet, get someone to pick up the bags was out of necessity. There was plenty of trash to fill numerous bags in which our single trash can at home would not suffice.

Our first phone call was to the Gypsum town office. No, they could not accommodate. Our second call was to Public Works. They were disinterested and suggested CDOT. Our third call was to CDOT. We were informed this was not a Colorado highway. Therefore, we would have to try elsewhere.

Now, our kids were listening to one side of the phone conversations, which led to some good questions. Perhaps we can all reflect on what government should be and what our experience of government is.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Did the kids see government as public servants? Did they see government as a means to assist in something for the good of the community? Will they see government as an extension of them (by the people) or an entity apart from them?

You may think I’m overstating such a minor, petty incident. Folks, we (all parts of the political spectrum) talk plenty about the condition of our society and country. We lament the next generation’s apathy and “mess they’ll be inheriting.” This was a missed opportunity.

Our plan did come to fruition. We called Waste Management and explained our idea once more. The gentleman was supportive and said he would dispatch a truck there. We thanked each other.

No, the kids didn’t learn government would be there for you, do it for you, or care if it got done. They may even hinder you. Yes, they did learn to accomplish something in cooperation with another.

Kaleta Johnson


Support Local Journalism