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Resolving conflicts face-to-face makes the difference

My understanding of human behavior carries unique as well as novel discoveries.

I question the status of our objective reality as a nation since I see less of what I experienced while I was a council member and mayor of Boulder City from 1985 to 1997. That reference is not well understood at this point in time after statements that “government is the problem” initiated changes to our attitudes in the 1980’s toward government. If this were true, why would anyone desire government? After all, why would anyone run for office as a government official if government could not be beneficial?

I continue to believe in the value of government. What troubles me is the attitude that government continues to be a problem. Ever since the Civil War, hasn’t government been the way we resolve differences of opinion in the USA? How can America get past a negative point of view while creating a level of trust with a commonly held overarching cohesive reality? I’m quite sure we have called this reality the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution as well as rules of law.

Prior to Christmas, I had breakfast with our former city manager George Forbes as well as his wife. Our conversations were filled with mutual admiration. I therefore experienced nothing but love reflecting upon the successes that we had while our city was only thirty-one square miles in size. It now is over two hundred square miles. The process of our expansion began with the purchase of 167 square miles in the Eldorado Valley while I was mayor in 1995. George Forbes was appointed the city manager by a unanimous vote of the city council in 1985. After I was elected that year, I went to visit our new city manager. I noted a plaque on the wall of his office defining a code of ethics for city management. That impressed me since I desired to be an ethical council member.

I was happy we could again discuss while sharing our current understandings of governance. Our attitudes remain virtually the same since that 10-year time I was on city council with Forbes as city manager. Isn’t government about creating the greatest good for the greatest numbers? Are there still people who have ethical objectives? I continue to believe this is normal. As George told me over breakfast, “Ninety percent of public officials have ethical standards of behavior.”

It still amazes me, in this time of deep division within our national government, how similar Mr. Forbes’, as well as my point of view, remains. That is the love that I experienced in my breakfast conversation with George Forbes.

At all levels of government, there must be trust for there to be effective representation of the citizens. I have watched many of the city council meetings on television. I’ve also talked to a number of people within the community concerning our city council. There appears to be trust in the current city council. After coming in first place with three of my four elections during the twelve years I was on city council, I also know that trust can disappear almost instantaneously. I also believe that trust cannot be developed or maintained on the internet. Both body language and tone of voice are generally absent on the internet. Over 90% of communication arises from our bodies as well as tone of voice. We therefore require a return to in-person communication for clarity, understanding and resolution of differences.

I enjoyed a story in a recent Sunday New York Times concerning the city of Silverton, Colo. since my wife and I visited Silverton in May of 2023. It seems that they have a similar situation as Boulder City concerning growth and development. Their mayor understood what was important as he survived his next election since he had created small groups of people who were able to speak to each other in person, thereby creating commonality. That remains the best way to govern.

To understand each other, we require conversations in person with love. We neither create a common reality nor resolve differences of opinion on the Internet. In Boulder City, we are fortunate to continue to be able to speak to each other in person, aren’t we? Love is always the answer. Communication from the consciousness we are will always best be served in person.

Eric L Lundgaard

President, Aquarian Theosophy Foundation

Former council member and mayor, 1985-1997

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