Vail Daily letter: Commissioner Sara Fisher takes advice to heart
Vail, CO, Colorado
In 1998, when I was running for re-election to my second full term as Eagle County’s clerk and recorder, my opponent chose to get dirty by making false claims and accusations about my record, my personal life and the people in the Clerk’s Office. Not unlike some of what is happening today, she threw around incorrect figures, purporting them to be facts when the only fact was that she was in error.
Well, a few days after a rather callous article ran in our local paper, a wonderful woman, Marge Burdick, a Vail original and founder of The Red Lion whom I’d come to know through my church, called me on the telephone.
When I answered, Mrs. Burdick said to me, “I just want you to know that I for one don’t believe everything I read in the news.”
Thinking the door open to share my thoughts, I told Mrs. Burdick that the night before I’d had a conversation with The Man upstairs and He had told me that she (my opponent) would get hers.
Mrs. Burdick quickly corrected me and said, “Sara dear, I don’t think that is what He was telling you at all. What I think He was telling you is that you’ll get yours.”
She then went on to explain, “As long as your head and your heart are in the right place, you have nothing to fear.”
As our conversation continued, I asked Mrs. Burdick what I might do when someone is intentionally hurtful and distorts the truth.
With complete conviction she replied, “That is a golden opportunity for you to take a deep breath and say a prayer for the person(s) on attack. But even more important, it is a chance for you to say a prayer for yourself that you might find the strength and the courage to rise above the fray.”
That experience and those words In changed my life forever. In this business of public service, you never know when you’ll get blasted. Whether it is anger, frustration, or just plain meanness, people sometimes feel they have the right to try to tear a person down. Remember the postcard shenanigan in the 2006 campaign?
And though thick skin and broad shoulders are helpful attributes for most women (and men) in the working world, good intentions, honesty, fairness and faith are what make it possible to do good work.
I had the blessed fortune of seeing Mrs. Burdick (now Marge to me) last Friday afternoon. Her beautiful blue eyes, her soft spoken words, and the loving touch of her hands reassured me that my head and my heart are in the right place.
I asked her if I could continue to share this story as I have more privately many times before. Her reply, given with a gleam in her eyes, was “If you believe others might learn from what we know and what we share, please do. You can always be sure that there is someone who is in need of the peace of mind that your words and His might bring.”
Marge Burdick is living proof that there is good to be had in even difficult times and I am grateful for her and for all she continues to give to others.
Sara Fisher Eagle County commissioner