“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 15:58)
There are so many "unknown heroes" in our communities that get passed over.
Today, I met one of them.
I stopped at Stop & Shop at Old Connecticut Path in Framingham just to pick up a few things in the late afternoon. I noticed a guy outside the door collecting signatures. Often you can run into "nuts" there trying to get you to sign a petition to "save the whales" (wouldn't THAT be ironic on a day like today) or something like that. When I was coming out of the store, the man approached me. He did NOT look nutty. He was neatly groomed and pleasant, but NOT phony. I thought maybe he was running for some position in the Town of Framingham. It turned out he was collecting signatures for Mary Z. Connington who is a Republican running for State Auditor. I don’t think I ever met “Mary Z” but I know who she is. She’s a very bright and articulate woman who has run for public office in the past.
The man collecting the signatures explained I’d have to be a Republican or Independent in order to sign. (I knew that, but I let him give me his spiel!)
I told him I was a Republican and that I would sign. He was surprised and deemed delighted.
He told me that yesterday he'd gotten only 9 people to sign and today only 5. Of course, Democrats CAN'T sign, and I guess a few of them had some sharp remarks for him. But he told me the most frustrating was the number of Independents who said things like "they're all crooks" and would not sign. He asked one woman, "Don't you care about your taxes going up?" and she replied, "I DON'T PAY TAXES!!" (Sadly, plenty of Framingham residents DON’T pay taxes!)
I asked his name and he told me "Bob" which of course is my name.
He told me he was 70! I was somewhat taken back because he absolutely did NOT look 70! Bob then told me his brother died of cancer very recently. His eyes filled up with tears and he told me he wants to make his life count for something and make a difference. I tried to give him a few encouraging words.
We can all become cynical. Listen, I’ve inherited the tendency of each of my parents to “see the glass half empty rather than half full” , to focus on the faults of people, and to focus on people who have bad behavior and bad habits.
It’s easy to forget that there are many wonderful and unselfish people in our community- decent people who are trying to make Framingham and Massachusetts a better place.
I met one of them today- “Bob”. With a great attitude like he has and a great name like he has, well, he’s inspiring and he’s a hero.
There Goes the Neighborhood
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