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This letter was received by the Yelm Community Blog and permission was granted to share it with all of you by the writer. It has been edited in no way:

Dear Steve,

I continue to be deeply inspired by your dedication to our community — running for Mayor, tirelessly informing us, and making sure we have the information necessary to chart a course that will make our community truly thrive and be sustainable.

And at the same time I am disheartened at the lack of comments to your posts on many vitally important issues. Week after week I have seen many important issues and questions raised only to scroll down the page to see “comments: 0” on nearly every one of the articles posted — and not being inclined to post one myself.

And so I ask myself why, and I am pretty sure the answer to that is the same for a lot of people and the solution probably is too.

Is it because of the hectic construction of my life where I just don’t have enough time or energy to put my mind to writing something good, much less really do what needs to be done to help remedy the problem?

Answer: Yes, I have constructed my life around filling immediate personal needs in the short term to the detriment of many long term necessitites, with one of the first to go being participation in community.

Do I feel that since no one else is saying anything, why should I?

Answer: Yes, it is the second best excuse of all, next to having a hectic, busy life of paying bills. It also brings the great joy of having an opinion and never doing anything about it.

Is it that I just dont care?

Answer: Yes, sometimes the problems appear too big for “little ol me” to do anything about and a sense of defeat and fatigue creeps in. And then for some reason warm flannel sheets and down comforters seem like a workable solution.

Do I consider myself a private person, not really suited to social affairs?

Answer: Yes. I am very private and am uncomfortable in social situations, I am also deathly fearful about speaking in public — so therefore I vigorously avoid putting myself in those positions.

So what is the solution?

Isnt it simply to just “get over it?”

Is there really anything further that needs to be said for me to do that?


From now on I am going to make comments however small on all the articles in your post that I have thoughts about. Then, I am going to actually take some kind of further action on at least one issue that I feel especially concerned about — whether it be attend a meeting or write a letter.

And I think that will be a good start for now.

Thanks for the inspiration Steve!

Shelley Lucus

[Ed. Note: The title quote “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” is from
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
American Civil Rights Leader in a
speech delivered on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of Clergy and Laity Concerned at Riverside Church in New York City.]

Posted by Steve on January 31, 2007 at 6:26 am | Permalink

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  1. As one who has made comments in the past, let me assure that it is not nearly as difficult as your fear seems to make it. And after a few times, it actually gets to be quite easy.
    After you’ve posted a few items to places like this blog, then you can move up to making comments at public meetings, such as the City Council sessions. One way to do that is to pre-write what you want to say and simply read it. Don’t apologize for being nervous; most people are, and some hide it better than others. It’s simply your chatter-brain reacting to a new experience, and taking your body along for the ride.
    After you’ve gotten that down, apply for open positions on various committees and commissions. Testify before the legislature in Olympia on something that is important to you; your appearance and statement there carries immeasurable weight when compared to form-letter emails.
    Become an expert at something — especially of local significance — and you’ll become someone who can tell the others to back off of their BS, because you really do know better.

    All it takes is the first step.

    Enjoy the ride!
    James Zukowski

    Comment by James Zukowski on January 30, 2007 at 10:10 pm

  2. And how about this? As if on cue, this notice arrived in my mail and was posted in the Legal Notices of the NVN:

    The Yelm Library Advisory Board is seeking interested individuals to serve on the Board. Presently there is one vacanccy. Responsibilities and duties of the Yelm Library Advisory Board include serving as an advisory body to the Mayor and City Council regarding the library building and equipment, periodically evaluating the relationship between the City of Yelm and the Timberland Regianal Library District, and reviewing legislative issues before the Washington State Legislature related to library matters. The Board serves as a liaison between citizens and the Mayor and City Council on library related issues.
    The Board meets on the third Tuesday of each month (except August and December) from 4:15 – 5:15 p.m. in the Living Room at the Yelm Timberland Library, 210 Prairie Park Street. Any interested citizens, are asked to complete and application, which can be obtained at the Yelm Timberland Library or at city hall. The application should be submitted with a letter of interest attached, to Mayor Ron Harding, Yelm City Hall – 105 Yelm Avenue West, or mailed to PO Box 479, Yelm WA 98597 – by 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 7, 2007.

    That’s just a very few days. Go ahead, make a choice! Get involved!

    James Zukowski

    Comment by James Zukowski on February 1, 2007 at 9:04 pm

  3. Dear James,

    Interestingly enough I had done just as you have suggested, though not with the Library Board — which may have been a thrill (?)

    A week prior I accepted an invitation to be on the Board of Directors of the NW Frontier Research Institute. Perhaps you know Danielle Graham, if not you are probably about to. I am sure Steve will have a field day with her in the very near future. (right Steve?)

    I have actually participated quite a bit with several community issues, mostly as a behind the scenes person, creating presentation materials, posters, flyers, brochures, signage, etc.

    Your apropos advice was warmly appreciated, however.

    Thank you,

    Comment by Shelley Lucus on February 4, 2007 at 11:20 am

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