on March 14, 2018 by Daisy in Letters, Comments (0)

Why everyone should run for mayor at least once, one fur’s perspective.

Please note that this perspective comes directly from a character’s experiences, but is written by the player as an OOC description of events and lessons learned by the character as an interested party and active participant in several campaigns. Daisy’s experience may not be typical, and I can not speak for anyone but her. Your mileage may vary.

Daisy Ferret came to be a candidate for mayor the first time, in what is probably a fairly typical fashion. She had criticized something about the office, or the current office holder, and after describing how she would do things differently, was told to put up or shut up via being nominated. That first campaign was fun, but the idea of actually being mayor was intimidating. She discovered during that first campaign season that she made some new awesome friends, or discovered that furs she hadn’t taken interest in previously, were well worth getting to know. There was something about the shared experience of campaigning with/against each other, that made it easier than usual for her to form new bonds of friendship that would last years.

Both before and after her first campaign, she had taken an interest in friends who became mayor. She watched how holding the office affected furs she already cared about, and how they handled the responsibilities. All of that added to the intimidation factor, and she came to believe over time that being mayor was becoming a very rarefied and scary thing. Those interested in the office, and often winning it, tended to be more serious furs with lots of experience handling events and rp’s. These furs also tended to have more confidence in their abilities to run a full calendar of events, plus rp’s on the side. That seemed to limit things to only those with these qualities, which she didn’t have. After seeing a few friends ‘burn out’ during their term as mayor, and consequently retreating from public life for a while, she became deeply concerned that the responsibilities heaped on a mayor were just too much for any one critter to handle for a whole year (with one notable recent exception). One has still not returned, and is showing worrying signs of having lost their taste for engaging with the community at all.

She has also gone back through the spindizzy newspaper and read old debates, almost back to the beginning of there being a mayor. Expectations seem to have shifted a lot over the years, from what she was reading, and a lot of the fun and entertaining tom-foolery associated with the office seems to have faded away. It is her heartfelt opinion that the running of events and holidays should be spread out among the community as a whole, and the fun given back to what it means to be mayor. She knows that she is not alone in having this idea, but the majority seem to expect a mayor to be something very like a hardworking wizard with none of the real authority. To her, that doesn’t seem fair. Anyone can run a holiday event with some advice or help if they want it, and more should be encouraged to give it a try. It would take some weight off the shoulders of the current mayor, and mean that everyone is giving something back to the community in their own way, and with their own unique combination of talents and interests.

This is where you, dear reader, can become an important part in reshaping the current paradigm. Social norms are created in our community by mutual consent, and what each of us does, or does not do, has a cumulative effect on the whole. Next year nominate yourself for mayor, don’t be intimidated by the fact that you may be new, or not have the experience that seems to have become a required resume. You too can be a mayor, and a very good one in your own way. If that is too big a step for you, consider this. You are not required to stay in until the vote, or to accept the office if you win. You can become part of the campaign just for fun, or to get to know your fellow candidates in a way that is different from ordinary daily interaction. If this is still not for you, right now, volunteer to run a holiday or event, and feel free to ask for help or advice if you want or need it. You’ll discover through either of these activities that just stepping out of your comfort zone can be extremely rewarding, and make you feel more connected and more confident. So this could be a big win for you and a win for the community too. Everything that you add or give of yourself can bring all of us closer together, and make our little corner of the furryverse even better.

To sum it all up, I think that we (and I am definitely including myself!) have been very selfish in demanding that our mayor be almost the sole activities director on the muck. We owe it to ourselves and each other to start participating more, taking on the responsibility for events or holidays that we enjoy the most, and giving back to the community we all love. Don’t worry if there are already two events for a given holiday on the schedule, the more things are available, the more opportunities for fun will exist. We also have the chance to try out entirely new holidays or events. Maybe you’re a skunk and want a day to celebrate all the wonderful things about your species. That is a wonderful reason to hold an event, and you can bring something to that day that no one else can. Let your interests and talents shine by sharing them with the rest of us. We will all appreciate new chances to get to know you, and each other a little better. Together we are spindizzy, and each of us is valuable even when we don’t think we are good enough.

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