One of the things you grapple with as you get older is this curious contradiction: there are a lot of good, smart, conscientious people in the world, who just can't seem to get simple things right.
I could illustrate this principle with many examples from my own life. But let's pick on the phone company.
For many years, our libraries have had their own phone numbers. Because of the way Qwest sliced up the various phone books (Castle Rock/Parker, South Metro, etc.), it was almost impossible to get all of our listings and locations in one book.
I don't know much about my maternal great-grandfather. His name was Wilhelm Waack. He came from Germany, and settled in Michigan.
Later, he became a reasonably successful businessman, filling an important social need. He was a bootlegger.
My grandfather, Wilhelm's son, spoke some German, and could read it a little. Sometimes, I remember neighborhood boys would ask him to translate a line from a WWII movie. But it was definitely a second language for him.
"I took a speed reading course and read 'War and Peace' in twenty minutes. It involves Russia." - Woody Allen
When I was in fourth grade, I decided that my homework was taking too long. Social Studies was particularly onerous. What I needed to do, I decided, was learn to read faster.
So I went to the library and asked for a book about it. There were several.
I had the privilege recently to serve as provocateur for the current class of Leadership Douglas County. Originally formed by the Castle Rock Chamber of Commerce, then expanded to include the entire county, the program seeks first to recruit tomorrow's citizen leaders.
Our civic infrastructure requires lots of thoughtful, well-informed people to sit on our councils, boards, committees, task forces, and advisory groups. So the second task of Leadership Douglas County is to provide a basic orientation to our county's issues.