- Doug Smith
Maple syrup and public policy
I grew up on a farm in northwest Ohio. Every winter, we would tap our maple trees to make maple syrup. That left such an impression on me as a young person that now, in Worthington, my family taps maple trees in our neighborhood to continue the tradition.
It all starts with the appropriate time. The appropriate time is late winter when it's warmer in the day time but below freezing at night. That's when the juices start flowing in the trees. Then, you tap into the maple trees to start collecting the sap. When you collect enough sap, you can start boiling down. This part takes a lot of patience, a lot of time and a strong commitment. Because it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.
When nearing the end of the boiling process, you must use the right skills and the right tools to craft the finish product. Then, we take the finished maple syrup and give it to our neighbors and our family for gifts, so others can benefit from the fruits of our labor.
To me this is a lot like public service.
When creating a program or public policy, it all starts with the appropriate time. Then you can start getting creative juices flowing. And you tap into those creative juices to start collecting all the ideas and data to inform your decision.
Then you boil down to the core of the issue. This part takes a lot of patience a lot of time and a strong commitment. But once you make informed and thoughtful decisions, you use the right skills and the right tools to craft a finished product. Then you can let others benefit from the fruits of your labor.
This is a perfect analogy for why I devote my time and energy to public service.