Monday night is Scout Night in the Girouard household, with my younger son now a Boy Scout. My wife was the Cub Scout leader while the boys went through that phase, and I was involved in Boy Scouts during the time our older son became an Eagle Scout. What struck me tonight as we drove to the Scout House was everyone gathered at Winter Haven City Hall for tonight's City Commission meeting.
I missed many of our boy's functions during the time that I served on the City Commission. It is part of the job and I knew that going in, but I don't think that people give politicians enough credit for the sacrifices they make in their personal lives. It is easy to criticize someone from afar, but until you have been there, you really can't appreciate what it's like. I'm sure all of the new local elected officials are going through that experience now, having spent a few months in office.
Whenever I get in a discussion about local elected officials with some of my more cynical friends and they wonder why I tend to give the politicians a break (most of the time), I just tell them it comes from knowing what they are going through. So give your elected officials a break...and run for public office. Everybody should do it at least once.