This passage is from Anne Kreig’s great piece of perspective, “The Politics of the Situation.” If you deal with politics (hard to imagine, right?) then you’ll probably find encouragement in Anne’s words. Check them out for ebook or print.
Years ago, I worked on a zoning project for a village neighborhood that would allow small scale commercial (which was there already.) I had neighborhood meetings, worked it through the Planning Board, made great maps, the whole thing.
When my zoning proposal got to Town Meeting, it didn’t just fail on the floor, it was violently massacred, and I got tarred and feathered along with it.
I was 28 years old at the time, and wow, was I devastated. A Planning Board member came up to me after the vote and said, “You have to understand, Anne, that sometimes people don’t want good planning.”
In the moment, I was angry (but I knew enough to say nothing). But as time wore on, I realized she was right, and that that’s okay. People need to do as they feel comfortable.
It didn’t diminish the work I did, either – the cool thing about aging in this profession is that sometimes you get to see that, you were 10 years ahead of yourself. Yes, 10 years later, that same zoning was dusted off and passed at Town Meeting.
That has happened to me in 3 other cases, so I don’t think it’s completely isolated.