Looking at the Big Picture

A bank recently ran a newspaper ad that consisted of a circle, with about five percent of the circle marked "important." The rest was marked "mundane."

And, when we think about it, most of what we do in life is pretty mundane. Vacuum. Answer the phone. Pick up the dry cleaning. Balance the checkbook.

Unload the dishwasher. Which is my least favorite mundane thing. In my next life, I will have two dishwashers, so one is always clean (we will just eat directly out of it) and the other dirty. We will never have to unload a dishwasher again.

Come to think of it, some of the "important" is only relatively important. Things like changing the kitty litter, for example. Important only when we don't change the kitty litter. Or mowing the grass. To keep the neighbors happy.

Giving the neighbor's dog a bone, for example, is important if you want Hallie to shut up. Or keep protecting the house and me, which she does. Because a borrowed dog is better than your own dog, in many ways.

Have to get gas if you're going on the road. Now, that's important. As is paying the insurance, or the mortgage.

But, too often, I fear, we forget the truly important. Call your brother who just had surgery, if only to say "I love you." Take a flower to the widow down the street. Listen, really listen, when someone talks to you.

We all get "bound up", as my mother in law used to say, in the day to day and forget the important. Constipated, in effect, with life.

And, politics is no different from anything else.

Yes, there are important things. Constituent calls and letters deserve prompt answers. You have to make roll call votes and formal sessions. And attend public hearings. And meetings and veterans ceremonies and a host of other activities.

You read about the major votes and issues, right here in the paper. The important. Deemed so by press and politicians.

But you don't often hear about the mundane. Which is often really much more fun than the important.

My favorite, recently, was a letter from a woman who asked, is it "appropriate to wear a kilt at a formal affair. I heard you family had a wedding where a family member wore a kilt. Can you confirm this?"

Happy to confirm it, my dear. My own son-in-law, the bagpiper, did indeed wear his Campbell clan kilt to the wedding and it is certainly appropriate and indeed expected among many of Scottish or Irish descent.

And, I might add, my son-in-law had even taken to replying to my digs about the bagpipe with his own joke. "When can you tell if a bagpipe is out of tune," Jono asked. "When someone is playing it."

So some things are fun. Important to the writer. Important to my son-in-law when he got married. Mundane, to others.

Or the e-mail from Leverett, where the writer asks if I can do something about the stunt pilot out of Barnes who keeps flying over his house. Important to the writer, of course. And, the route must be important to the pilot. But, frankly, not to me. Except, someone asked for my help.

Frankly, I don't have an answer yet. I can't just go up to a pilot and ask him to stop flying over somebody's house, and it's not exactly a state issue. So, is that important? It's not mundane!

Now, I ask you, to tell me, what is important to you? To you.

You can, if you like, tell me some personal things (I'll keep them anonymous) about stopping to smell the roses, as they say (whoever they is) or the importance of kindness and generosity. About going to church or praying or reading or watching the sun come up.

You can tell me about anything you like. But I particularly want you to tell me what's important to you, on a statewide, or legislative basis, as we enter the last six months of this century.

Call me. Write to me. E-mail me. Or go to my website where there's a reply form. (Really, I know that's where you are right now!)

I work for you. And only you can tell me what's important to you.

All materials copyright 1997 - 2014