Girl on Fire: Young is a subtle inspiration

[As seen in Creston News Advertiser, June 4, 2015]

Part of the job of a news reporter is to be unbiased: we tell the whole story, both sides, without including any personal thoughts into our stories because it’s up to our readers to form their own opinions.

However, sometimes you find that one thing that deserves being discussed in more than just a news story.

Last week, I covered the formal opening of Rep. David Young‘s constituent office in Creston. Prior to the open house, nervously I sat in a chair, my back bone-breaking straight, across from Young asking him questions for a small blurb to fit next to a photo I was going to take once people appeared at the office for the lemonade, cookies and informal get together.

I asked my few short questions, received my answers and that was that. But, Young began asking me questions about my life: where I went to college, what my degree was in, why I enjoyed working at a newspaper and, most surprising, what books I enjoyed reading.

I’ve had the opportunity to interview and listen to several politicians in the course of two and a-half years here. I remember vividly speaking with Sen. Chuck Grassley in Corning, and listening to Sen. Joni Ernst campaign for former Sen. Bruce Braley‘s position at Adams Street Espresso.

But, Young was different. The first words out of his mouth when I told him I volunteered for the Creston Fire Department were, “Thank you for your service.” Then, we proceeded to discuss books and movies for about 10 minutes before the open house started. I’ve never heard a politician not talk about politics before, but engage in conversation about something else he was so passionate about. Fun fact: Young has read authors like Charles Bukowski, Daniel Woodrell and Anthony Burgess.

It was so refreshing to know there really are people out there who care about those they serve, that there is more to someone than what is publicized on TV or in the news.

Young is just one example of a person who has more going on behind the face he presents to the world. However, so far, Young is the only politician I’ve had the lovely time speaking with who is just that kind of person.

The world needs more people like that: willing to show who they really are and not be afraid of the backlash they’ll get. And politicians aren’t the only ones. Angelina Jolie and Emma Watson are two celebrities who have taken advantage of their wealth and stardom to improve the lives of millions all over the globe.

I hope Young can inspire others in our small Iowa community, as well as in the nation’s capital, to pursue what they are passionate about and bring about change in our world.

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