The lessons of Mary Reynolds and the Detroit Lions and what they mean for us all

This past couple of weeks has been pretty busy for me, so writing for the blog has been temporarily relegated to the back seat.  While I've managed to keep to my goal of one new article per day most of the time, this past week has certainly not been one of those times.

God decreed that 6 days man shall work, and the 7th he shall rest, so that's what I've been doing today.

Resting.

I was working far too late last night (again) so today I decided to sleep until I was done, and then sleep just a little more.

It’s been excellent.  I finally managed to open my eyes in time to turn on the stupid box and catch the last ten minutes of the Dallas Cowboys – Detroit Lions football game, and am I ever glad I did, although not for the reasons you might expect.

The last ten minutes of the game were exciting, to be sure, but they could never have happened if the entire Detroit Lions football team hadn't done one simple thing for the entire preceding 50 minutes of the game:

Their jobs.

They did what was put in front of them to do and they did it to the best of their ability.

They didn't let outward appearances get them down.  They didn't let a silly thing like the scoreboard dictate how they would do their jobs, or indeed IF they would do their jobs.

They simply did what was put in front of them to do as best they could for an entire 60 minutes and in the process they not only won the game after being down 24 points, they handed the Dallas Cowboys their worst implosion in franchise history.

How awesome is that!

But as I lay in bed watching the Detroit Lions quarterback toss the winning touchdown with just over a minute left to play, I began thinking about what they had just accomplished, and what lessons I ought to be taking from that awesome performance.

The lesson itself is mind-numbingly simple:

Do what is put in front of you to do and do it to the best fo your ability.

Period.

Do it until the job is done, or time runs out, whichever comes first.

How many of us can truly admit that we do this?

At our jobs, do we truly do what is put in front of us to do for a full 60 minutes?  Or do we mail it in after half an hour or so, or worse?

All this got me to thinking about the people who I write about here and the reasons why I write about them.

Bear in mind that the vast majority of the people I write about are people I have never met, never spoken to on the telephone and have never even shared an email with, yet among them there are people who I look up to because they do like the Detroit Lions did today... they do what's put in front of them to do, to the best of their ability, until the job is done or until time runs out.

The most recent example would be Union Bay blogger Mary Reynolds.

Anyone who's been following my writing for the past few months will be well aware of Mary's case.  Mary believed her local government was corrupt and not working for the best interests of the people they were elected to represent, so she began an education campaign aimed at her fellow Union Bay residents and the people who were supposedly elected to work for them.

Mary did that until time ran out.

No, she didn't die, but she was sued by every member of the Union Bay Improvement District Board of Directors and the District of Union Bay itself.  The District finally came to its senses and realized that it's against the law for a government to sue a citizen for criticizing their actions and dropped out of the lawsuit.

Other articles have delved into the specifics of that, so I won't get into all that again here.

The specific individuals involved, of course, with their egos in full bloom did NOT drop their lawsuit and even though I believe Mary Reynolds could have won the case, she was faced with the very real possibility of being bankrupt if a judge disagreed.  She accepted what I believe to be some very poor advice from her lawyer and signed an agreement that would have the lawsuit dropped in exchange for her agreeing to basically abandon her Right to Freedom of Speech.

That's what I mean about time running out.  For Mary the game ended when she took that very bad advice from someone I would only describe as a really crappy lawyer.

Up until that time, however, Mary simply did what was put in front of her to do, day in, day out and she did that to the best of her ability.

She was determined.

She was relentless.

She was going to bring integrity and honour back to her local government if at all possible, and she wasn’t going to give up that fight until she had accomplished that task.

Here's the thing...

Mary Reynolds won.

I doubt she sees it that way because it cost Mary Reynolds her Right to Freedom of Speech, but it's true nonetheless.

Just like the Detroit Lions defense did today, Mary Reynolds never gave up.  She spent years doing anything and everything she could to raise awareness of the actions of her local government, actions she believed were in violation of their own conflict of interest guidelines and arguably to line their own pockets.

Mary Reynolds won and that's why she is, like the Detroit Lions football players in today’s game, an inspiration to me.

It was her tenaciousness that eventually raised enough questions for her fellow citizens and exposed the dictatorial actions of those supposedly elected to represent them.

That resulted in the May 2011 election saw the two members of the dictatorial tribunal of Alan de Jersey, David Godfrey and Denis Royer unceremoniously turfed from office, replaced by two community members who would join with Cleve Goldswain and Bruce Livesey to finally bring accountability back to Union Bay's local government.

Alan de Jersey, the lone remaining dictator wannabe, resigned shortly after that election.

The dictatorial Union Bay Improvement District was no more... run out of office because of the actions of a lone 60-year-old blogger named Mary Reynolds.

That's an incredible contribution for a single woman to make to her community, don't you think?  An incredible legacy, despite the high cost to Mary personally.

But then that’s almost always the way it is, isn’t it.  Those who make the greatest contributions always pay the highest price.

It’s not fair, it’s not right, but it seems to be the way things work in our fallen world.

There are many reasons why I took up Mary's torch after she was stripped of her Right to Freedom of Speech by de Jersey and his cohorts..  They used the court system to bludgeon their fellow citizen into silence and why?  Because they despised her exposing their conflicts of interest and pointing out cases of [alleged] corruption.

Freedom of Speech is arguably our most vital and important Right of all.  When thugs use courts to beat a citizen into silence, I get angry.  I get indignant.

Unfortunately for Alan de Jersey and the rest of his cronies, I'm even more tenacious than Mary Reynolds ever was.  I’ve got all the transcripts of their depositions, and as I comb through them in the coming weeks and months, you can rest assured they will not like having their own words tossed back in their faces.

Personally, I think it serves them right.  If it weren't for their own abusive actions against Mary Reynolds I would never have heard of any of them.

If it wasn't for Mary Reynolds doing what was put in front of her to do to the best of her ability for the many years prior, I would never have been able to write about Union Bay or the horrible treatment Mary has received at the hands of people whose only interest seems to be filling their own bank accounts at the expense of the citizens they were supposed to represent.

But most of all I'm grateful to Mary Reynolds for teaching me the lesson that the Detroit Lions taught me again today.

Do what's put in front of me to do, to the absolute best of my ability, and do nothing else until the job is done… or time runs out.

To Mary Reynolds and the entire Detroit Lions football team, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thank you for showing the world how important it is to simply do the right thing, do that to the best of your ability, and do it until the job is done.

 

2 thoughts on “The lessons of Mary Reynolds and the Detroit Lions and what they mean for us all

  1. Hi Christopher, I heartily agree with this assessment of things.
    There are a lot of crappy lawyers and it is unfortunate that this took place. I and many others are in the middle of a similar situation and we keep doing and dealing with what is put in front of us. we traveled 300 mmiles and stayed for 7 days in victoria . the agenda was a special invesitgator arranged this meeting , he came from Vancouver and 6 of us met with him at the executive suite at the harbor towers hotel one vicitm in a case which you are familair with and 5 wintesses. The interview lasted 3 hours and I will be recieving a copy of the tape and record of notes taken. The victim/witness asked on record why are people trying to cover this up. He asked 3 times. The investigator stated he was htere to find the answers as he had a great deal of evidnece and now needed more to fill in the blank spots so he was well informed and now I wait to hear. we all had to deal with police when in town over this case again and also crown couseland meet with others at the courthouse we now have more put in front of us to do. we were told by crown cousel that decisions to lay charges are made on whether it is in the pub lic interest to lay charges so now many letters will be sent with evidence that it most certainly is in the public interest to lay charges on those who have committed offences against children, seniors and disabled. feel free to write corwn cousel Peter Juk as we met with him and another member. everyone has a right to have thier say.
    I am home we can talk later if you want details this is worth covering

  2. Freedom of Speech is a natural, God-given, inalienable right with which every individual on earth is blessed from the day of his or her birth, regardless of nationality. Freedom of Speech is a precious right which can never be taken away from a person. It is always there with you.

    Dictators and oppressive governments the likes of Mao, Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, to name a few, still come along throughout history who refuse individuals the liberty to exercise their Freedom of Speech except under the threat of severe punishment.

    Present-day China does not allow Freedom of Speech to criticize the Communist government or its leaders. Liu Xiaobo is but one dissident serving long prison sentences–or threatened with prison–for writing about the need for human rights and a political shakeup to rid China of its one-party system.

    Canadian Thought Police restrict Freedom of Speech, too. Our government, which needs a few lessons in principles, has boiled down Freedom of Speech–or Freedom of Expression, as the Canadian Charter calls it–into government-regulated, government-licensed, government-monitored, government-approved speech–a muzzling which is a far cry from the intent behind Freedom of Speech.

    However, you can never be stripped of your natural right to Freedom of Speech. It’s just that sometimes the many courageous writers and speakers who ignore the government’s anti-freedom rules end up with 11-year prison terms like Liu Xiaobo who was also denied his right to accept the Nobel Peace Prize.

    Whereas my instinct tells me that what the strong-arming Union Bay creatures did to Mary Reynolds is still illegal in Canada, I can’t advise her to carry on exercising her Freedom of Soeech Rights because I don’t know the details and I’m not sure what I would do if caught in the same vise.

    But I do believe the public would rally behind Mary, the Lionhearted. It’s not like she is dependent on a cowardly publisher to print her material. She, like the rest of us, has the whole Internet at her disposal.

    So, while we wait for her to re-saddle, we can follow Christopher’s example and do our duty in preserving the last fragments of Freedom of Speech by making damned sure this is one travesty of civil liberties that does not get swept away in the dustbin.

    If Mary loses, we all lose.

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