A few words about me…
I am the fifth youngest (of thirteen) child of June and Russell Kimball born in the seaside town of Portland, Maine, a town of deep working class roots. With sustained values of hard work I learned very early the importance of consensus and cooperation. That lesson was the responsibility of my parents and of a tight knit and caring neighborhood.
Sid and Sal Ginsburg owned the corner grocery store and provided every working class family in the neighborhood credit, so that families would not go hungry. There was Pete the Mailman who every Sunday handed out ice cream cones to all the neighborhood kids, provided he was in good spirits. There was Louise Glendenning who lived up the way on Brackett Street in a light green clapboard house with lace curtains and the kindest smile for a dirty snot nosed kid who’d knock on her door to earn a nickel, a dime, whatever so long as I was able to buy some penny candy from Sid and Saul. Father Feeney’s brother, Joe, lived across the street. I can still hear him yelling from his second floor window for us to go inside when the warm summer air kept us out playing well past dark. The philosopher Charles Taylor calls these events, these people, these memories your “inescapable horizons”. They are the building blocks of my identity.
I am complex, reflective, concerned and ever striving. Much like the democracy so many of us cherish.
The problems we face today know no party. If my undergraduate and graduate degrees have taught me anything it is that acrimony and appeasement solve little. We must begin to have a civil discourse that sees beyond the next election, the next issue, the next political fight. And we must realize that solutions are not the property of one ideological camp or another; they are the culmination of hard work, of consensus and of cooperation. Government was never meant to be the whipping boy in an ideological battle for power. Government was meant to provide opportunity, a hand up to everyday people who silently have a positive impact on the lives of so many. Just as Sid, Saul, Pete, Mrs. Glendenning and Joe Feeney did for me.
Then there is my daughter raised with the same values of family and compassion who constantly reminds me that we must dare to see beyond the stars, beyond ourselves to create a compassionate environment where each of us prosper. And it begins now. And with a conversation…
Thanks for reading.