I am the Weights and Measures Inspector for Erie County and a current participant in the 2008 Leadership Erie County class. My sole responsibility as inspector is maintaining equity in the market place, protecting both buyer and seller from errors. Quantity, not quality, makes up the laws that govern Ohio consumer protection. But I have learned as a LEADS student that quality -- as in the quality of life has no law -- and while growing up, quality is something I and others have taken for granted.
Close to the holidays, it seemed everywhere we turned, there was nothing but bad news and -- if lucky -- we heard about the occasional good.
It seemed we heard nothing but individuals and organizations asking for donations. Most of us gave, but thought, when does it end? And some of us turned the other cheek, and were angered and tired by the repetitiveness of what we were hearing. Even though the holidays are over, the desire of some people to live a quality life is never over. I could never imagine growing up without a roof over my head, hot meals, clothes on my back or a family who didn't care --those things which made every day a holiday, things I took for granted.
I have tried to picture myself, my family and my friends in the situations that environment has placed the unfortunate into. I wondered, if we weren't handed the quality we were given, if we would be the ones looking for help.
We've talked about the children of yesterday and today -- how some of the blame of their actions is not because of them but from the "spare the rod, spoil the child" philosophy which is not accepted in today's society.
We all raise our kids differently and we all will never agree on how that should be done. There is a difference between abusing a child and spanking the child, but sometimes I believe the child should get a reality check on why he or she should be thankful for the quality given.
To me my parents were my disciplinarians first, friends and confidants second. They made me realize who to trust, who your real friends are, and that you can always "count on us."
We talked about students of today and how they should not be allowed to graduate until they pass a course, "Future Parents of the World," on raising a child and treating others how you would want to be treated. A course not set by government guidelines or religious beliefs, but by common sense.
We talked about it being mandatory for all people, when of age, to serve on jury duty and visit first-hand their local detention homes, jails or prisons.
Serving as a grand juror was my first experience in realizing my quality. It hits you like a ton of bricks when you realize the drugs, the abuse, the pressure placed on our kids and the violence is so close to home.
True, you'll never hear anything good serving on jury duty, but hopefully after you have served you will walk away more thankful you've made the right decision to give back some quality to someone who truly needs it.
I can't point a finger at people who don't care to help others or get involved with helping someone else because three point back at me -- but as I've matured and become educated, and I can honestly say I try -- thanks to my mom and dad.
Leadership Erie County
Class of 2008