Grasshopper Soup: The notion of working together goes back to kindergarten
The absolute intrigue in the story of Bob Johnston versus the Truckee Donner Public Utility District board of directors is the stuff of award-winning, decades-old soap operas. The cast of characters couldn’t be more outstanding, nor the time and place more perfect. By that I mean humans, Tahoe Time, in the middle of the rat race around The Lake Of The Sky.I really enjoyed reading about the story in the July 4 Sierra Sun. It was classic. Aside from soap operas, it reminded me of great novels and plays, like Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. Too bad there isn’t any romance in Bob Johnston versus the PUD. The world needs more romance. The most impressive characters in the story are the ones who support Mr. Johnston and express an understanding of the situation, and the man.I don’t know if Mr. Johnston is a contemporary Galileo persecuted for being so far ahead of his time or a Don Quixote on a meaningless quest. At least he’s honest about his personality. I admire honesty, and humility. Those of us who react with jealousy, envy and pride are usually not honest about who we are.A decision to exclude someone from working with others is the worst way to demonstrate how to work with others. You could say it is like the irony found in capital punishment: killing someone to show that killing is wrong.Just because someone has difficulty with you, or vice versa, is not necessarily a good enough reason to exclude them, especially if they are already duly involved.Some people are just more forward-thinking and smarter than others. It’s usually the short-term thinkers who are the first ones to get all bent out of shape when told they are wrong.Interestingly enough, the Bob Johnston versus the PUD story also suggested public image concerns as the reason for the creation of the committee to conserve water and electricity, which, if true, does raise legitimate questions about the vision of certain individual directors currently sitting on the PUD. I guess they would be the ones who voted to exclude Mr. Johnston, but, in a soap opera, you can’t always be sure exactly who is responsible for what. At least I cant. Thats probably why I dont watch soap operas. I get enough soap in real life.Most of us, certainly not all, have learned common, rudimentary lessons, beginning in kindergarten, about how to work well with others. Robert Fulghum wrote a great book called All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Sierra Sun publisher, Jody Poe, saw fit to write about the book in an editorial this last year. Some of those important bits of wisdom warrant repeating:Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.When you go out in the world . . . hold hands and stick together.And lastly: Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.Why the hell is my spelling and grammar check telling me styrofoam should be spelled with a capital S? You spell peoples names with capital letters, like Chuck, and God, not styrofoam. The substance doesnt deserve a big s. Styrofoam coolers arent allowed on the Truckee River by the commercial rafting companies. Styrofoam coolers fall apart when you look at them. Three cheers to the commercial rafting companies. On some things, including future energy use, there should be no compromise. Its been a long time since kindergarten. Maybe we should all repeat it together.Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, experienced ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 25 years.