The older I get, the more I appreciate how fragile our time on this earth is.

And the more I appreciate the precious gift of another day, the less Im willing to tolerate the knucklehead stuff.

The knucklehead stuff is the little things we do to ourselves that complicate our lives unnecessarily. Because its the little things that usually derail us.

Like not putting your mobile phone in the charger, even when you know the battery is about to croak. Or walking past your umbrella on the way out the door, even though its starting to drizzle. Or starting to gather your tax paperwork at 6 p.m. April 15.

These things do not make necessarily make one a knucklehead, but they do complicate our lives when that complication could have been so easily avoided.

And the knucklehead scourge has afflicted our city leaders before we even were a real city.

Last week our leaders-elect were in a planning session and the subject of prayer came up. It started so innocently, but knucklehead stuff usually does.

The planning for this weeks swearing-in ceremony included an invocation and a benediction. So far so good, until Mayor-elect Eva Galambos mentioned not including prayer before future regular council meetings and suddenly we were off to the races.

Some agreed. One suggested the Pledge of Allegiance instead of a prayer. Another suggested a prayer because Sandy Springs is a “conservative” community, though Im not sure how those things are tied together.

The subsequent solution and I use that word with grave reservation was an agreement to seek out a “respected” minister to take charge of a committee of religious leaders who could come in and beseech someones almighty higher power without offending anyones sensibilities.

Yeah. Right. No problem. Who gets to define “respected” and what marching orders will said holy person be given?

We didnt even get a chance to be a real city before we committed our first knucklehead violations. Lord have mercy, you should pardon the expression, but we stubbed the same toe three times without pausing for a breath:

o Religion was mixed with politics o Precious time and intellect were wasted o The solution was to create a committee, which in this case is like filling an empty gas tank with AAA batteries - theres a lot of energy available, but none of it practical

Its like giving a dying horse a lollipop. Doesnt make much sense, but it cant hurt.

Folks, if we cant navigate through political pablum like this, what happens when the real meat lands on our plates? Argue over the spiritual aspects of the situation? Force every possible solution through liberal or conservative filters? Get out the Ouija board?

Remember the fuss over the Presidential Parkway? I once covered a meeting of a group studying the environmental impact of the road. The meeting dragged on for hours and no one was able to keep it on course. With my deadline approaching I got the leader out into the hall.

What was the likely outcome, I asked, hoping for something I could fashion into a story.

Well, I was told, in the next 90 days this group would issue a report and a recommendation to a committee, but that recommendation would be non-binding. The committee could use all of it, part of it or none of it and no one would really know until the road was built. Understand?

I didnt then, but I do now. Knucklehead stuff.

Im not so naïve to think that those who will occupy Sandy Springs city hall dont have a handle on what our city needs. These are serious people who have made time in their schedules for public service, and we should be thankful they have done so.

But in my experience, the smartest and best in the room are the ones hurt most by the knucklehead stuff.

Anyone need an aspirin?

 
 
 
 
By Staff 11/25/2005 18:08:00

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