‘Using Our Grace’ When Contacting Legislators

by Pam Wallace
July 8, 2015

First, a few weeks ago we received word from the Ad Hoc Committee For Smart Meter Legislation that there was some movement with regards to crafting a new smart meter bill and some support for that new bill within the state legislature. Along with the drafting of the bill (which is now in its third draft) is a push within the legislature to see this bill move forward. The Ad Hoc committee and other Michigan smart meter activists have been working closely with legislators to see this through and have been keeping us advised.

Recently they have been given some feedback that they feel is important from many of the legislators. These insights center mostly on how we approach our legislators, some of whom have said they have been approached and treated disrespectfully which has had an impact on them.

We realize that many of us have had some very difficult experiences with our legislators surrounding this issue and have worked and contacted them diligently for years and have felt/been unheard and un-responded to. Some of the difficulties the Ad Hoc Committee speaks to have arisen due to this and the complete exhaustion and discouragement that comes from a process which at moments seems like we are hitting too many brick walls or going nowhere.

What we have learned from being involved in community and public issues over many years is that they do move at a snails pace, often require extensive amounts of time and and they do present a number of difficult and unwelcome barriers and obstacles that feel and seem (and often are) quite unnecessary. These barriers and obstacles also appear to get in the way of integrity and the common good. When this is the case and we are battle weary, it can be very difficult to keep our composure and grace but, these are precisely the times where using our grace is so important. There is an old saying we like “I have lost my favorite tea cup. I can have lost my favorite tea cup and be upset or I can have lost my favorite tea up and be alright. Either way, my tea cup, is gone.” The lesson is that how we respond to what is before us is truly up to us.

With this in mind, by saying to use our grace we are not suggesting that we not stand up for what we most believe in. We are really just reflecting on the fact that no big change has ever come without grace. The power of our anger at a perceived injustice has moved us forward and the most important changes in history have come from harnessing this anger in a productive way and fighting/working with insight, integrity, wisdom and grace. It is with this sentiment that we hope to go forth and to understand that we are moving forward even though at times, it can be hard to see. Please know that each day little steps of progress are taking place and that we will keep you posted on what we can all do together to make sure that this is always the case. Also know that this effort doesn’t stop until we all have safe, analog metering options here in Michigan.

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