Don’t be fooled. Campaigning for any office is pretty much a slog. Whether it is for the local school board, as I am doing in Montgomery, or for governor, it is hard work.
And you are constantly disappointed as you realize most folks are just not very interested in politics, and have had a bellyful of politicians who can’t seem to remember why they are in office.
You knock on doors and if lucky, maybe two times out of five someone will respond. But often they will holler through the door, or just barely open it to tell you they are not interested.
But not always. For instance, a lady recently came to her door and immediately said, “I’ve been wanting to meet you.” She had read several of the pieces of mail we’ve sent out and had some questions. We spent a delightful 30 minutes in her living room talking about education and the Montgomery community. She is retired and has a daughter who teaches in south Alabama at a school I know.
She could not have been nicer or more attentive as we exchanged thoughts. She wanted a sign in her yard, which I gladly put up, took some literature and promised to talk to her friends on my behalf. And I’m sure she will.
Needless to say she lifted my spirits.
They were also lifted on a recent visit to a high school where I had an appointment to meet the principal. But when I arrived, he was tied up. Here’s why.
A few days ago two students were in a horrific car wreck and one will be crippled for the rest of her life. This was shortly after another student was murdered in a drive-by shooting.
Obviously all of this stunned the student body. They did not how best to cope. (Which reminded me of my own senior year when we lost a classmate and were at a loss as to what to do and how to feel.)
In this case, several students asked the principal if they could have an assembly for the student body and seek relief in prayer. This was going on when I got to the school. I stepped in the auditorium to stand silently as students rose to speak and lead in prayer.. It was a moving experience and vividly illustrated what I know so well.
Which is that nurturing students involves a great deal more than books and lessons and tests. A fact that escapes most of those who rant and rave the loudest about school performance and student achievement.
And it is such moments as these that send you to knock on the next door.