After the April 12, 2009 Board of Ed election I made it a point to contact all those I believed helped me and voted for me in the election. I know for a fact that Elwell and Gonnille supporters gave me one of their 3 votes, proving voters do not always vote party dictates, and I thank God for that.
It is true, as reported by Matthew Amato, May 24. He was the first person I called to thank for giving me my spirit back to run for the B of Ed in Secaucus again. Permit me to explain. After the 2008 B of Ed Election I took my defeat personal. I truly believed I would win one of the three positions up for election. I am a diabetic, my sugar count went off the charts. I blamed everyone for my defeat. I questioned the voters logic. I questioned those who said they voted for me. Did they actually vote for me? Some of my supporters, now, after the fact told me that my frankness and honesty made me enemies in both the Elwell and Gonnille camp. Some accused me of having ulterior motives, etc. Bottom line, I said to myself, who needs this, I will never run for public office again! I made myself scarce. Strange as that might seem, I did get a reaction. When people would inquire as to why I have been so quiet? Would I ever run for office again? My reply, unknown to me at the time, was identical to some of the reasons why I would never run again that had been stated in a book written called, “Do it Anyway”. The only difference being was that the author views as to why I should continue to run for election was the opposite reasons I was saying why I would never run for election again.
Examples given, People are illogical, unreasonable and self centered, LOVE THEM ANYWAY. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. DO GOOD ANYWAY. If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies, DO GOOD ANYWAY. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. DO GOOD ANYWAY. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable BE HONEST AND FRANK ANYWAY. The biggest men and woman with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds, THINK BIG ANYWAY. People favor the underdog but follow the top dogs. FIGHT FOR THE UNDERDOGS ANYWAY. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight, BUILD ANYWAY. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them HELP PEOPLE ANYWAY. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth. GIVE THE WORLD THE BEST YOU HAVE ANYWAY.
Back in Nov. 2008 in a phone conversation with Mr. Amato, over an entirely different subject he raised the same old question, “would I be running for the B of Ed in 2009?” My reply, “definitely not”. I then proceeded to give him a detailed version why. He suggest I read Kent M. Keith book, Do it Anyway. This book describes fundamental values and happiness by living what the author calls, Living the Paradoxical Commandments.
Now to you, Matthew Amato. The book you recommended and your words changed my point of view. I’ll never forget your comment to me in our phone conversation, Nov. of 2008. Paraphrasing, it went something like this. “Tom you are going to be 76 years old, You have been doing the same thing Prof. Kent Keith in his book, Do it Anyway, encourage throughout most of your life without even realizing it. Why stop now.”Bottom line. I did read the book. I have found happiness. Oh, I almost forgot to mention. I did win a seat on the Secaucus Board of Education. I would not have run if it had not been for our conversation back in Nov. 2008.
Now, fast forward. Three days after the May 25, 2009 article appeared, five people have called me. Some requesting I loan them the book, others inquiring as to where they could purchase the book. I have promised the book to one of my dear friends, who recently lost in a UNICO election, and feeling exactly the way I felt after my defeat in 2008 B of Ed Election. Once again, to you Matthew Amato, many, many thanks.
Secaucus B of Ed Trustee