Monday, August 12, 2013

How Long?

The other day I attended a community meeting, and during the meeting a question was posed to a person talking.  That person held a position of authority as being chair of an advisory panel to Borough Council and was pretty well schooled on why the group make the decision they were discussing.  One of the members of the audience point blank asked him where he was from.

I hear that a lot and it never ceases to amaze me that people either constantly ask me, or anyone who holds a position of authority, where they are from.  Does it make that much of a difference? I have lived here nearly 30 years now, yet I believe I am still considered an "outsider".  It appears that no matter how long you are here, if you weren't born here, you are not worth a plug nickel.

I asked a group of "natives" exactly how long it takes before a person is considered relevant. I explained that my husband and I have been here almost 30 years, we have raised a son here, and we have been active in the community almost as long.  The person looked at me somewhat quizzically and said he thought 30 years warranted  a "vested" status. I suppose I surprised them with my question, but I was really curious.  Does being born in a place grant you special powers to make decisions for the town? I supposed experiences or education from outside don't give you any special consideration.  I fear that with that kind of narrow thinking, this town is not destined for much.  

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