I hate that phrase. Always have, and now my hatred for it is even greater.
“My hands are tied.” And when it is said, it is never true, never. It is a way for someone to absolve themselves of responsibility. It is a way for someone to take the easy way out, remain on the sideline even though they have the power to change it all. So, when I hear that phrase, what I really hear is, “There is a lot I could do if I really wanted to. But this just really isn’t worth it to me.” And then I envision a turning on one’s heel as you stand there and watch them walk away. So, really, in that situation, whose hands are the ones who are truly tied?
As I said in my last post, all I was looking for was an opportunity to educate and share information, a place to have a meeting of the minds. But that can only happen if you are afforded a seat at the table. And, to be honest, we felt as though weren’t even allowed to be in the room. By Friday the 14th, all of my conversations were hitting a dead end. And not only was I hitting dead ends, but the attitudes of the people I was conversing with had turned as well. “Sorry. My hands are tied.” “The law is what the law is.”
We attempted to get an application for a permit ( I won’t go into details) that would have enabled us to start the discussion about beekeeping regulations with the proper committee. The woman in the office asked what my name was when I asked for the application; after telling her “Bethel Metz,” she placed me on hold. When she came back on the line, she informed me that she could not give me the application… I could not even receive an application that they could then deny.
Then, there were two phrases that shattered the sense of community, that let me know that my opinion that this was a lack of understanding and education was not shared by all. It sucked the Zen-ness right out of me.
What were the phrases? What were those “game changing” sentences?
Well, they both came in the same conversation late Friday afternoon, said by the same individual, a City of Port Washington official.
#1: “My advice to you is to retain an attorney.” Really? We live in a relatively small town, population around 11,000. Everyone knows everyone. Yet, according to this individual, I should get a lawyer. Seriously.
#2: “Let me think of an analogy simple enough for you to understand.” I think I do not need to even explain my thoughts on this.
Those two phrases and all it implied let me know who and what I was up against… and it would take a helluva lot more than education and information to achieve our goal. It was going to take some fortitude and perseverance, and help from friends, both new and old.