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Friday, August 13, 2010

Starting Over

Today was Jeff’s last day at Leisure Services.  He applied for and got a job with the City’s ICS Department working primarily in computer support for the Police Department.  I have worked with Jeff for about four years now, and consider that he presented me with a great gift.  All my life I have looked at controversy as a negative—something to be avoided, not at all cost surely, but as much as possible.  I suspected that friendship could not withstand the test of controversy.  How wrong I was.  Jeff, who loves to “keep it real,” showed me that honest disagreement can, on the contrary, strengthen a friendship.  By not fearing to handle snakes (as the Bible might say), truth and integrity need not be sacrificed on the altar of concord.  Quite to the contrary, by exploring honest disagreements, respect and trust are strengthened and friendship is deepened. Were we always fair and enlightened in our political discussions?  No, but that doesn’t matter.  In a sense, it would have been dishonest.  When one is passionate about something, objectivity and evenhandedness are sometimes trumped by emotional truth.  Friendship affirms rather than denies the full freight of human nature.   

Starting Over

Polar opposites in politics
We had our days of fire and smoke,
But allies in life and work
The broad light of day brought us close;
You supported me, I supported you,
You liked my writing; I liked your style--
Your intrepid ability, with a little mischief, to “keep it real;”
Now you go on to bigger things,
Another time another place
Another room filled with people and machines,
Humming away in peace and quiet
Not realizing (like I do) soon they’re in for a special treat
A little reboot from the mischief seat.

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