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March 3, 2013

PUBLIC FORUM: Unexpected lesson in civics and life

— There are times in life in which we all feel we just can’t catch a break. The cards are stacked against us. We can’t beat the system. We can’t fight city hall. We feel powerless in the face of unfairness and injustice.

We want to give up.

And then something reminds us that we are blessed to live in the greatest country the world has ever known, where anything is still possible.

For me, that reminder came last week by way of a friend – and I wanted to share it with you. On Tuesday, after years of court battles, Vernon “Hughie” Bowman, a small farmer from my hometown of Sandborn, took his fight against one of the nation’s largest corporations to the U.S. Supreme Court.

And while we won’t know the outcome of the case for some time, Hughie Bowman is a great example of what is possible if you keep trying. Here’s a small farmer from a small town in rural Indiana who stuck to his principles and refused to back down.

Hughie’s fight is not only a great civics lesson that proves America can still work for the little guy, it’s an inspiration for all those that stand up to seemingly insurmountable odds. He’s the living embodiment of the old saying “It’s not the size of the man in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the man.”

I share this story because I know that in the coming years Hoosiers will continue to face struggles and frustrations as some misguided politicians in the Indiana Statehouse place greater emphasis on singling us out rather than bringing us together. There will be times when we want to throw in the towel or put our time, treasure and talent to other worthy causes. However, like Hughie, we can’t give up – no matter the odds. There is too much at stake.

So as the now-second most famous person from Sandborn, Ind., I ask my fellow Hoosiers to stay in this fight, no matter what the odds, and protect our shared values and principles for this and the next generation of Hoosiers. If Hughie can do it, so can we.

John Gregg

2012 Democratic nominee for governor

 

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