Dear Deborah

My dear, you got yourself into a bit of a pickle.  Did you run for office on a lark or a bet? How did it happen that you went through the campaign process without realizing that your choice of associates and activities from the last few years might prove to be an issue?  I understand that people do things when they are young that are stupid.  Who am I kidding?  Many people do stupid things when they are old.  The primary difference between my generation and yours is that we didn't have the opportunity to record our stupidity on the internet.  You see, when I grew up there was no internet.  Heck there was no fax, and I remember clearly sitting on the floor watching the landing on the moon on a black and white TV.  

You will probably remember May 5, 2015 your whole life.  And it's possible that the weeks immediately following that momentous election will be life shaping for you.  I don't think you are out of the social media woods yet.  My prediction is that there will be more revelations to come.   I worry about you, because although you have been foolish and used poor judgment you are in the public domaine now and that means you are fair game.  It can be a painful and hateful place.  But you will come out the other side, landing in one of two places.  Either you will be called on to resign and you will move off into obscurity or you will soldier through and prove the critics wrong.  Sorry, I guess there are three options to consider.  The third would be resigning, taking the gifts and skills you have and using them to make the world a better place.  Oh, my dear those critics are loud though and I am shaken by what I have been hearing about you.  I don't imagine you ever thought we would see those photos of you and I wish we hadn't, but amidst the ugliness I am hopeful. 

There are two kinds of people in the world those who see the ugly stuff and assume there is no hope, and those who see the ugly stuff and hope that there is more to you than that.  I am hopeful that you have enough character and intelligence to be completely humbled by the enormity of what happened to you on May 5, 2015.  If you aren't afraid of the challenge before you, you should be.  Not because of the disturbing photos that keep emerging from the ether to haunt you, but because of the responsibility that will be formally laid on your shoulders when you are sworn into office.

You might think I am being an old fuddy-duddy with the responsibility bit, but I am not.  You are about to find out the true weight of the burden of representing the people in your riding and serving them.  Assuming you stay in office, you won't have any time to get into mischief over the next four years because you will be so busy devoting your waking hours to the thousands of folks in your riding.  If this endeavour is more than a joke, you will put every ounce of energy into selfless service and you will make me proud.  You will take time for the folks who write to you with their issues, the ones who come by the constituency office, and those who stop you in the grocery store to vent.  You will consider how the decisions and votes you make will affect the future of other Albertans - even those too young right now to understand your predicament.  

Assuming you weather this storm and that you serve for four years, your decisions and votes as an MLA will impact youngsters like my grandkids.  Even though I am not in your riding, I have a stake in that as do many other Albertans. The youngster in the photo is one of my grandchildren, and you need to know that Nanas don't mess around when it comes to folks who have the power to make life-altering decisions regarding grandchildren.  

You will be involved in those decisions if you fulfill your MLA-elect role.  Whether you fulfill your role, or are called on to resign you have a choice to do the right thing from here on.  Find someone with wisdom who believes in you and cares about you, to walk along this journey with you.  Seek advice and counsel from others who have gone before.  Surround yourself with people who will demand that you bring your best to the table.  Shy away from mediocrity, anger, and youthful angst.  Hang on to the energy and creativity of your youth, and work like you have never worked before.  If Premier-elect Rachel Notley, chooses to give you a chance make it your chance of a life-time.
                                                                                An Alberta Nana


  1. This is a great read! Both in terms of quality and content. Well done Nana!

  2. Thanks Rick, I greatly appreciate your feedback. It's one thing to see the blog stats and know many are reading every week. It is quite another to hear from readers when something touches them either positively or negatively. Thanks for taking the time - happy long weekend!


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