My view today overlooks the open lawn of the capital green. There is snow on the ground, making it pure and white and unblemished in the least. No tracks if any so it is a pristine piece of nature sitting in the square surrounded by the windows to our world. Behind them, the pure and pristine may well be lost as the battle of ego, ethics and conscious unfold within ornate halls with great massive portraits of those who have governed. Portraits only admired by those visitors who are governed over, those who work here, who walk with purpose within these halls do not look at them, I think they avoid the judgmental gaze of those who governed before us. Lest the guilt would overcome the ego and justice and righteousness would again be words of aspiration and hope within them. So we all walk by and avert our eyes.
The snow makes me wonder, each small crystalline surface of each flake is different from the rest, all coming together to create this breathtaking landscape. Each has a part to play, none more important than the rest, all part of the same fabric. I think that is what the great founding fathers believed when first they sat within Carpenters Hall in Philadelphia. That each man has the right to self-rule. Gone were the kings and caste systems of their ancestry. At that time, in that effort to pry ourselves away from those who would hold us in contempt from across the ocean, each man had a say in the struggle. Rich and poor stood side by side on those battlefields. Their efforts all aimed with the grace of God toward the betterment of our life and the lives of those who would follow.
I laid down my shield after a career as a guardian to take up the mantle of doing something, of not sitting by and complaining about the failures of government and how its efforts often led to the suffering of our common man. My first days in the capital were a history lesson in what had occurred when first the state was founded. The history was amazing, and I felt honored to become a part of our combined history. The chance to leave a legacy beyond what I have done for those that I protected and to make life better for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Give voice to the voiceless.
An older statesmen soon set me straight. We govern by placing ego and position above want and need, he would say. While the people are oft spoken of, it is the power that speaks the most here. Power echoes through both chambers of government, a clamoring to out speak and outmaneuver another. There are battles won and lost here, compromise often comes down to favoritism and favors exchanged behind closed doors or within closed hearts. Occasionally, he would go on to say, they may help someone in their work, but rest assured these occasions are almost all accidental.
I listen to them talk of constituents and needing to serve the needs of their constituency. Those are people who contribute or vote for them. Those voices are heard here. Someone rushes to take those calls. But how many of the people who I have served for most of my life were a constituent? How many of them could vote? Would these leaders of man take their call? They would not, I believe, for those people work each and every day feeling less and less a part of the fabric that we struggled to create two hundred odd years ago. In fact, that fabric now flies above most of the masses, keeping them from seeing the light of day. The symbol of hope for some may well serve as a symbol of fear and isolation and hopelessness to so many more.
There are so many days that I miss my old view of life, of people in need who called and of being able to be, for that few minutes, an answer for those who were searching for one. My shield sits in a clear glass box now. It is still a symbol of where I came from and a reminder of what I represent, of the oath that I took and which I stand by to this day.
I meet their eyes as I walk down these halls. I look up with awe and wonder at each of their faces. I will not forget what they did for those who came before me. Sacrifice is something I have done for my entire life, I have worked in fear of the darkness, the last thing that I shall do is to live in fear of the light. I will not sacrifice who I am for them. Nor will I sacrifice those who once upon a time I swore an oath to protect and to defend.
I can smile again and move forward. I turn away from the window knowing that I can walk these halls today with the pride of conviction and belief. At least for today, the snow has brought me solace and the reminder of what wonder there is when we look for the purity and goodness in our world. Sometimes we just have to open the window and make sure that we look.