Lost in this masquerade

June 4, 2015

Rebuilding Our Communitydownload


I don’t know if you got the memo, email or phone call recently to come to the next series of community meetings dressed in a disguise and ready to play the next round of games. You betcha! How about a little hide-and-seek with the economic recovery and the jobs that seemly never appear available for those living in the inner city; what about some charades where a player acts out a word or phrase without using any verbal language to convey the meaning to others on fair housing, quality health care and black on black crime. And what about my favorite, Pictionary, of quick sketches and crazy guesses whereby teams are trying to identify specific words from their teammates’ drawings of educational reform. Hey, what about adding some others games into mix including truth and dare, taboo, clue and scattergories… now this party is all set. It is pretty hard not to notice that so many people come to meetings with hidden agendas of personal self-interest or representing the interest of an agency or business partnership. It soon becomes clear that things were already in motion regardless of what is said or believed to be accomplished during the meeting. It also appears that there were other meetings held before the meeting to which you came and in which you gave your opinion, spoke your convictions or shared your vision. Then it all hits you, why did I come to this meeting in the first place in which the decision has already been made? They are going to do what they want to do. But that is where the irony lies… to know this is happening; to know this is the game; to know what is going to be said; to know what is going to be the outcome and yet to not be able to do anything about it, but to sit back, become angry and frustrated about how things were done. You quickly learn that you were not at the table to provide meaningful input or to share in a productive dialog, but simply were brought along to justify something already planned. And to see this firsthand, the schemes and the process… and to be told by others to just go with the flow. It is enough to make you give up, say what’s the use and to move on. Well you are not alone in what you are seeing, feeling and experiencing. Some say… you have to go along to get along… others would say you have to pay in order to play… and yet others would suggest that you have to learn how to mingle or learn the art of negotiations. But really, there is so much at stake; families in crisis, a growing gun culture, high dropout rates, poor health care outcomes, expanding roles of people living in poverty… are you kidding me! In the words of the singer and musician, George Benson…“Are we really happy… with this lonely game we play? Looking for the right words to say… searching but not finding understanding anywhere… we’re lost in this masquerade.” So, I say at the next meeting make sure your mask is on straight and blend in. What do you think? Dr. Andrew Calhoun, can be contacted at andrewiiicalhoun@ gmail.com, Twitter #AC53, and Facebook. You can hear Dr. Calhoun each Sunday at Grace Fellowship Church, 3879 N. Port Washington Rd. Milwaukee 414-265-5546. The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not of the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper or NCON Communication, its staff or management. “Rebuilding Our Community” is a weekly column exclusive to the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper.