By Laurent F. Gilbert Sr.
Mayor of Lewiston
As I start my 211th column, I go through this exercise every week. What am I going to write about this week?
My thoughts for this week were to write about my opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline because of the threat to the environment in a number of states it would pass through or write about the extension of the payroll tax cut for the working class.
As I opened my computer this morning and checked out my Facebook, I found a message that my daughter Karla McMahon posted. It was quotes from Mother Theresa of Calcutta. Since this column will appear shortly before Christmas Day, I thought I would share Mother Theresa’s quotes with the readers here in the spirit of the season.
So here are the quotes from Mother Theresa, entitled “The Final Analysis:”
“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.”
“If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.”
“If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.”
“If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies; succeed anyway.”
“If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.”
“If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; be happy anyway.”
“The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.”
“What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.”
“Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.”
“You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.”
As we may be in the holiday spirit, it matters not what our religious beliefs may be; the important thing is that we are in the spirit of “Peace on earth and goodwill towards men.”
During the past couple of weeks, I have been busy packing between appointments and other duties. I am nearing the end of my terms of office, and it is time to pack and to discard the many files, books and other paraphernalia from my 42 years of public service that I will never need again as I enter into full retirement.
It has been with mixed feelings to throw away paperwork from years of work. There have been many good reminders, as well. I have been most fortunate to have served in the spirit of service. For me it was never much in the spirit of adventure, even though there were those times during my career.
I would often tell young officers in teaching a police academy class that police work in the spirit of adventure involved only about 15% of a police officer’s work. The other 85% involved service.
When I first started as a young patrol officer in 1969, there were burglaries, robberies, assault, domestic violence, drugs, etc. At the end of my career there were still burglaries, robberies, assaults, domestic violence, drugs, etc.—how could I claim any success? In thinking about it, every day offered opportunity to be of service to people; if a police officer (or any public servant) seized on those opportunities, then cumulatively over a full career, one could truly claim success in a career.
As I reach the end of my political career in service as your mayor, I believe I have given the best I had to give. It may not ever have been enough, but—in the words of Mother Theresa—I gave my “best anyway.” And again in her words: “You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God, it was never between you and them anyway.”
Next week will be my final Mayor’s Corner column, as it is time to move to a new chapter in my life, such as working on my “honey do list” and spending more time with my honey! I look forward to it and leave behind a career of public service that I have loved. It would not have been possible without the support of “my honey,” Pat.
May you all have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy Kwanzaa or whatever other holiday you may be celebrating. The important thing is to share in the spirit of these holidays and to offer and live with “Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards Men.”
See Mayor Gilbert’s personal blog at www.MayorLarryGilbert.com.