More Notes From the Field
Almost everyone who answers their door is interested in having a conversation. In the course of those, many unexpected things happen. One that I particularly welcome is when children stand with parents while we’re talking. I try to involve them in the discussion if they’re not too shy. I remember how I felt when visitors included me in what was being discussed when I was a kid. It made me feel like I wasn’t an annoying creature, but someone whose thoughts had value. One fifth grader I chatted with along with his mom and grandmother kept raising his hand as if in class. Each time he did, I waited until there was a break in the conversation, encouraged him to speak and then did my best to answer him. He ran into the other room and when he returned, he handed me a hand written note that said ‘I vote Jhon Clark for State Repersentative. Signature Jacoby.” Another six year old was fascinated when I told her about being given a fancy melon while campaigning. When I told her about saving the seeds, she begged me to bring her some. The next time I campaigned near her home, I left some in a box on her doorstep as no one was home. It’s important to remember that every child will grow up. If we want them to become intelligent and active voters, it’s good to involve them early on.
Adults also have plenty of dilemmas that they’re not sure how to solve. This morning, I referred a local resident to a friend who is good at trapping and removing pests as his neighborhood is experiencing an influx of rats. I also showed him how to look up property transactions for Hartland online. I’m stopping bu another potential voter’s house this afternoon because I promised him information on the massage therapist I use as well as the two acupuncturists Beth trusts because he has chronic and excruciating leg pains.
These are just a few examples of how campaigning is more that just soliciting votes. It’s an exercise in compassion and problem solving.