One of the perks of being somewhat retired and a stay at home dad is that I now have time to give back to a society which has been so generous to me over the years. Not only have I become more active in my church and a fraternal organization that I belong too, but I have also managed to get myself elected to the board of a community organization. When I threw my hat in the ring for the board, I thought it would be all kumbaya and reviewing the reports of the president of the organization but it has been nothing like that. I should have known having worked in societal groups for so many years that you just can't put that many people together and not expect personality conflicts. Still it is interesting and I enjoy the work.
Unlike others, I couldn't just be a board member who showed up once a month and voted. I have to be a hands on kind of guy which is why lately it seems, I have been spending a lot of time at the organization getting my hands dirty. All the employees see me and are thrilled to see that someone on the board is willing to step up to the plate and help out instead of just being someone who does not grant all their desires when it comes to their jobs. Like when I was an engineer, I found I learned a lot from the people whom I was affecting with my actions by just being among them and not acting their superior. I have always felt the people down in the trenches have the best knowledge or the inner workings of the organization and thus have really good ideas on the short term of how to make it better. My job as a board member is to help implement many of those ideas while keeping my eye on the long term so that we are around for awhile.
I keep joking with the wife that this is the first step towards getting into politics and sometimes she jokes right back about when I am going to run for mayor or some such office. Right now, being a board member of a local organization feels like I am giving a lot more back to my community than being in a political office so I'm content to stay where I am. Perhaps when my kids are older, I might consider politics though I think I would have to move since the area where I live is extremely polar opposite to many of my political views. However, before that would happen I would have to practice up on my lying because everyone knows a politician is lying when their lips are moving!