Words May Sting, But Life Goes On

I ran for Oakland City Council. I lost.

That is how life goes. Things didn’t go as I had hoped. But, I am 53 years old and learned that lesson a very long time ago.

I did learn some things that shocked me about small town politics. Not everyone plays nice or fair. I know that is normal in big city politics, and especially national politics, but I have never known it to happen in Oakland Nebraska before.

Oakland City Council wasn’t the main issue on the November ballot. School consolidation was. It did not pass, as a matter of fact, it was soundly voted down by both the Oakland-Craig School district and Tekamah-Herman’s.

As I have said many times before, social media is good and it is bad. In the case of voting this past November, it was bad on many fronts.

I believe social media gives people the ability to say awful things about others that they would never have to nerve to say to their face. Not agreeing with someone is one thing, and is perfectly normal. Diversity helps people to see other points of view. But, not agreeing with someone and saying horrible things about them is something else.

People formed groups on twitter, regularly posting negative things about people or an issue that concerned them. I never read the posts. I am rarely on twitter. But, people told me about them. You could see the hurt on the many faces effected by the negativity being spread as thick as peanut butter. I did see some not so flattering posts on Facebook. I found it shocking that a community of roughly 1,200 people could air so much hatred and continue to do so. It was the other school district involved as well, but living in Oakland for so many years and reading such things was appalling to me.

But, that wasn’t all. I received a couple of messages from people that I have know for years, insulting me. To be honest, I don’t know why. There was also a text that was sent around about me that was not nice at all.

What did I do to deserve that? I just don’t understand. I was appointed to the city council in 2013 to fill a vacant seat. I enjoyed serving the taxpayers and helping any way I could. I will miss it very much.

The one thing I know at the end of the day is: I am proud of me. I didn’t say anything bad about anyone running for office. I didn’t say bad things about others to benefit myself. I am proud to be a good, honest person who doesn’t believe in bringing others down to get my way.

I hope the wounds in Oakland can heal. Some people are very hurt, and rightfully so. This is a small town where people all considered each other friends. They always come together to help one another.

Is that the way it is now? I am not sure.

I am not going to let the words of others hurt me. I am moving on, always taking the path of helping others any way I can.

Did I fail? No. The only way I could fail was if I didn’t try. I will always take pride in who I am, a person that cares deeply about others and wanting to be the best I can be every day.

I only get one round at life and I am going to make it the best, not taking in the negative, but seeking the positive in each and every day I am blessed to open my eyes.

Life is a blessing. I hope all of you are blessed with love and kindness every day!


About katcountryhub
I am a graduate of Northeast Community College with a degree in journalism. I am married to Jeff Gilliland. We have two grown children, Justin and Whitney and four grandchildren, Grayce, Grayhm, Charli and Penelope. I will be covering Lyons, Decatur, Bancroft and Rosalie and am hoping to expand my horizons as time progresses!

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