Be it a blizzard or budget cuts, we’re all in this together


The blizzard is coming!

Yes indeed, it looks like it will be a white Christmas in Minnesota. For many people, the snow, to be enjoyed from the comfort of their homes, is good news. For others, it means travel delays, last minute hassles and missed parties. And for others still, it means that one relative who may overstay his welcome just a bit too long.

But, before the rolling of eyes begins as Aunt Alice asks your single sister for the fifth time if there are any new men in her life or drills your cousin on why a married, 30-year-old man doesn’t have children yet, just remember – we’re all in this together.

Whether it’s the snowstorm that’s bearing down on the Midwest or the recession that’s crippled so many Minnesota families, it’s a community affair.

When the streets don’t get plowed because of state budget cuts and employment numbers don’t rally because the state economy is still struggling, I encourage people to remember that we’re better at getting through these times when we work together. If the individualist spirit represents America, then community ideals represent Minnesota.

Through the years, our state has excelled at implementing policies and establishing programs that benefit the whole, while at the same time encouraging individual growth and advancement. Be it well-funded education, an inclusive state-run health care program or revenue sharing between the state and cities, we know that what benefits the state as a whole benefits us all in the long run.

Unfortunately, we’re drifting away from the ideals that have historically put us well ahead of other states. I for one think it’s time to reevaluate our priorities.

So, when you’re stuck at Uncle Bill’s house one night too long or you’re sitting at the airport hoping to board that plane, remember you’re not the only one dealing with tough times. Offer someone a smile or a seat, sit a few minutes longer to hear Grandpa’s story, or shovel the sidewalk for Dad. This will get us through the storm.

As for the health of our state, well…we’ve got a long way to go. But it’s the holidays so I like to think there are new opportunities on the horizon and maybe, just maybe, next year will be better if we work to solve our problems in a way that benefits all Minnesotans.

Happy holidays everyone.