PUBLIC service is a sacrifice that not so many people know, acknowledge, or admit. Let this be one view for those who are politician bashers. Public service is a choice, and when favored by the majority, one is placed in government. Yet it is also a sacrifice, and there are many reasons.
For some like me, privacy is sacrificed. As an elected official, we are placed in a fishbowl where anyone and everyone is free to watch and point their fingers to this and that. But at the same time there are those in public service who like to be visible in a fishbowl if so then privacy is not sacrificed but the scrutiny is welcomed.
Time management is a skill that is mastered. It is keeping a balance of all aspect of one’s life, to balance work and family life is a skill, balance spiritual life and public service is a challenge. For me, the past few weeks has taken away too much time as a public servant, and my church work has been lessened in terms of time spent with fellow workers in the vineyard.
I now miss going to weddings, birthdays, christening and burial services as much as I did when I was just retired from private service. It is such a big adjustment, but I know it was sudden and I also know I will get a balance sooner than others will expect. In due time, I will be back to more church responsibility. God knows best, as soon as I started campaigning I also have ended my term in the parish as a Christian Education and Evangelism chairperson.
This takes a lot of time in terms of preparation, coordinating, teaching and reporting. And at the present what is left for me to do in our church is being a Diocesan Council member. My term ends in a year and by then I can do more work in our outreach in a small church in La Union. This we are doing at present on a small scale.
Focus is a challenge as there are so many things to be done as a councilor. Yet, we need to focus on being able to accomplish something in three years. Market, trade, commerce, and agriculture are a big area to focus on. But if we lose focus it would be trying to respond to all the other issues, and in the end, little would be accomplished.
Public service is focusing on a greater picture of what we need to do. It is being connected with other councilors, the mayor and the departments as well as rooted in community life. I have been in community work for a long time as a cross-culture missionary and as a development worker. This I bring to public service and that experience makes it easier.
Yet the people we serve may not realize the sacrifice people in public service have to deal with. Every day we have to focus on serving people, to attaining goals and being visionary for our city. Yet, a few days ago we were on our high as we had a public hearing in the district which was hosted by San Vicente Barangay. It was very successful, but unfortunately, as we reach the office a problem in the market faces us, and we have to battle the unrelenting spirit of resistance to change. It is painful, and it is unproductive, that is serving in pain. So I am a happy servant in pain.