Life lessons will help Beason lead |

Life lessons will help Beason lead

Almost every year, at the California-Stanford football game, a group of eight or 10 of my boyhood friends, along with our wives, gets together to reunite and to enjoy the benefits of enduring friendships. The most proximate tie is that we played football together in high school, but the bond is much stronger and deeper. Most of us went to kindergarten together and some of us were born in the same hospital.

We tell the same stories and relive shared experiences as our wives roll their eyes and shake their heads at our ability to continue to find entertainment in the annual recounting of events. Sometimes, a little embellishment helps. The most interesting thing about this group is that over half were raised by single mothers with a socially conscious community of neighbors as a significant part of our support group.

The product of a blue-collar household in a blue-collar town of 4,000 souls, I learned first hand what neighborhoods and communities are about. When I was 7 years of age, my mother became a single parent. It was my hard-working, no-nonsense neighbors who gave me and others like me the same opportunities as every other young person.

Their corporate sense of responsibility extended to all of us. The common hope and goal among them was that neither their children nor anybody else’s would have to work as hard as they did to make a living. Although perfect by no means, they invested in us a work ethic, a basic sense of self-reliance, and a keen understanding that we are accountable for the choices we make in life. Their example embedded in us a sense of obligation and service to the broader community. There are worse legacies.

Despite their toughness, they were a kind, accepting lot. It was a stoic sort of kindness and acceptance, more demonstrated than discussed. I continue to believe that whatever successes I’ve had in life is as much their doing as it is mine, because it was they who gave me the opportunity to explore my future better equipped than I might have been otherwise.

Partially as a result, over the years I have enjoyed almost complete access to the advantages of living in this great state — physical endowments associated with California’s natural beauty and the economic and social advantages of a traditionally progressive way of life. I’ve often asked myself, what will be my legacy and the legacy of my generation to the generations to come?

I have surfed our beaches, hiked our mountain trails, and fished our rivers and lakes, all the while enjoying the inspirational magnificence of the state’s natural beauty. As a public servant, I would feel an obligation to do my part to protect this beauty and preserve our clean water and improve the quality of our air as part of our legacy to succeeding generations.

Ensuring the safety of our community and protecting our unique environment are compatible with a strong economy; indeed, they are interconnected. I look forward to a balanced economy in Nevada County that is not dependent on any single industry.

For example, to maintain a strong retail economy, we need a strong customer base predicated on quality jobs, a trained workforce, and available housing. Ranching, farming, technical, trades and finance, along with our recreational and entertainment industry are some examples of the elements composing a strong economy.

A robust arts environment is an essential part because its chief commodity is an atmosphere of creativity that benefits our commercial and economic spirit of innovation as well as our individual souls.

A balanced economy means that our young working families can participate in the advantages of living here and invest themselves in community affairs. Young working families imply a strong, vibrant school system – one of the key measures of a healthy community. Despite current fiscal challenges that face the state and consequently local governments, I believe that we as citizens working together can discover creative solutions and overcome many of the challenges we face as a community.

There is a lot of talk in Nevada County about how polarized we are. Having visited virtually every residence in District 1 and half of them twice, I’m beginning to believe that most of us want pretty much the same advantages for our community and our children that I was fortunate enough to experience as a youth. The polarization appears to be among a few. What I think we have is a consensus looking for leadership.


Nate Beason of Nevada City is a candidate for the Nevada County Board of Supervisors for District 1.

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