I was recently told that the service I was being provided was a “courtesy.” It was meant to demonstrate that I was being afforded someone’s time outside the normal process, but it was also meant to position themselves over me and my project, insinuating that government, and the job they do, is more important than the people it serves.
I’m not anti-government. In fact, I enjoy working as a private individual, along with my local government, to ensure the orderly and prosperous growth and maintenance of the community in which I live. However, I must protest this notion that the “government,” (who are people that enjoy paychecks funded by taxpaying members of a community, and elected officials that also work in that structure) work every day on projects mortals wouldn’t understand or comprehend. They are there by the combined work and effort of the people governmental structure is meant to serve.
We didn’t invent this structure to rule over ourselves and serve someone else’s interests. We invented, put into action, and staffed a structure (even the smallest local level) to serve our interests in matters larger or more complex than citizens could perform alone. Schools, infrastructure, public healthcare, and community economic development are some of the areas that benefits a community’s health and prosperity, and are much too large for a group of concerned citizens to manage daily.
So if you work in a governmental structure of any size, go to work every day remembering where you get your power from, where you get your direction from, and where you should get your inspiration from; it’s the citizenry of the community in which you live and work and play.
Your time and effort are NEVER a courtesy; they are an obligation.