In all my years, I believed that democracy means a government chosen by people, for the people. I was never particularly political, more like one of those save-the-earth people, recycling and all that. You could call me an idealist, a dreamer.
Growing up in Croatia under the umbrella of the artificially created state of Yugoslavia, it was hard to be an idealist. During the war, trying to survive and defend the only homeland that you knew, it was even harder. But then it came, the period of freedom, the period of democracy. Now, I thought, now the dreamer will become a realist! The myth “from the people, for the people” will be evident in all layers of society. Well, yeah, you’d think?!
Let’s just say, I wrote to the officials about some real issues in the community in the hope that they’d read it, that they’d hear where I was coming from and start with the positive actions. Let’s just say that I didn’t get any answers. Let’s just say that my next step was writing to the newspapers.
Once again, me being an idealist, I thought that journalists were the ones who are there to uncover all the flaws in society, they are society’s first defence. The first ones to detect the problem and offer the solution. Looking around me, I feel old as I remember the time when one article in the newspapers had the power to trigger the downfalls of entire governments.
I remember the enthusiasm of people wanting change, living and dying for a better tomorrow. But nowadays, nothing happens, the newspapers somehow lost their trustworthiness. They became the sellers of advertising space, and often, they can’t make up their mind if they will be “all praise” to someone or something, or all “doom and gloom” with a layer of natural disasters, a bit of death and maybe a murder combination. Either way, I didn’t have much success with them in the past.
We left our homeland and settled in a new country.
After four years, I’m still in disbelief that it’s different. That I can be a dreamer again. It’s not perfect. There is no perfect system on Earth. Don’t flock to Ireland as if it’s some sort of utopian land, it isn’t.
To my disbelief, I dared to write about some burning issue in my new hometown to the government official. Me, a foreigner, the one who doesn’t even have the right to vote in this new country of mine. I wrote to the senator.
Here, the government officials are differently named and everything is pretty different when compared to Croatia. The senator Tim (I’ll reveal just his first name) is the official for my county. I can’t go into all the perpetual and intricate details of the hierarchy of the government as I already told you, I am not that into that stuff, and to say it plainly, I have no clue how it all functions, I’m just a plain, ordinary citizen I don’t think I have to be bothered with all of that, if I know who to talk to in my town.
I wrote, and I got an answer. Senator Tim wrote back to me. Not only that, he took my letter seriously and already started a series of events that might lead to the solution of the problem. The solution will be helpful for the whole town, not only for the people of the town, but for the future visitors of the town.
Can you believe this?! After 50 years of my life, I got an answer from a government official who read my letter and acted upon it?! It’s not a myth. It’s the God honest truth.
The dreamer and idealist in me was jumping for joy, just for the simple fact that someone actually read my letter and answered in the most polite way possible. Me, a foreigner who can’t even vote for him.
So, in this humble way, I’m giving praise to Senator Tim who was doing his job in the best way he could, just doing it. He restored my faith in the people in politics.
I wrote this article in hope that some other dreamer or idealist might read it and take it to heart, and remember not to give up on doing the right thing even when nobody seems to care much for the good, honest, truthful way.
One man can make a difference, even when everything looks bleak in the world. I hope that more and more good, honest, working people will rise to positions of power all over Europe, starting with one small town at a time, one man at a time. Dream small.