Posted by: MC | October 22, 2013

One Change Leader — My Mama

Mary Alice Kemp, 2009

There it was – the enormous stack of mail that comes from being away from home for awhile.  Daunting as it seems, it’s always possible, even curious, to riffle through – separating the “must attend to this” ones from the far more plentiful immediate candidates for the recycling bin.  In a way that has become exceptional and continues a bit thrilling, there was a hand addressed envelope from a real person — this time, my mom.

In the envelope was one of her characteristically humble, downplaying, but still justifiably pleased notes atop a clipping (remember clippings?) from the Decatur, GA City News.  The news story was brief, filling the space next to a photo of my mom holding a plaque.  She was being honored for her service on the Decatur Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.  Ever since Bush Sr. formed the Resolution Trust Corporation to address the savings & loan crisis, my mom has been devoted to the ample provision of affordable and workforce housing.  The volunteer Housing Authority post she chose to leave this fall was one she’d taken on at the close of her two terms as an elected City Commissioner — fulfilling both of these city roles in her 60’s and 70’s.  My mom is awesome.

I’m confident this won’t be the only time I’ll write about the influence this woman has had on me, our family and relatives, and more people than I can likely imagine. I’m writing today because I along with very many of us, I suspect, can use the inspiration.  My mother’s service to her community is true civic service — clean and wise and supportive politics.  It’s more common than we know, and in that, it’s more possible than we believe.

My love and kudos to my mother, as ever — and my great relief in seeing that she is not along.  There truly are Elders among us, teaching us how to age and how to lead from the wisdom of living.  There is little more valuable – and little more steadfast when it comes to finding our way together in this earthly reality of human community – particularly since we and the generations to come totally rely on it.

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