There's an old story of a very rich man back in the roaring 20's who threw enormous parties at his mansion. One of his pride and joys was his new saltwater pool in which he had the ability to let swim in various exotic ocean fish.
One very hot fourth-of-July he had the biggest crowd ever at his house. Assembled along the edge of the pool he proudly released into the pool his new collection of 10 great white sharks. The sharks swam back and forth in the pool as the rich man declared a 1 million dollar reward to anyone brave enough to swim across.
Suddenly there was a splash and someone started swimming across at a speed never seen even in the Olympics. A man bounded out of the pool on the opposite side completely out of breath. The rich man ran to him and began to congratulate him on his great courage.
The breathless swimmer said, 'I.. only.. have.. one question WHO PUSHED ME?'
I'd like to take some time this week to address Terry Branstad directly. Governor, sometimes it's very difficult to have the courage to do the right thing, especially if the press and other organizations around you are advocating and accepting something that's wrong.
It takes is one brave step to ask the question, "Do we all really believe that closing this home is the right thing to do? - I mean is this really ethical and good for the kids?"
My message is not about table-thumping or shouting, and it's not about costs and profit. IT IS about fundamental spiritual things like caring, and respecting people (including you); the quieter gentler strengths and skills that all of us possess that we all must have the courage to use.
Real change in our state happens not because someone at the top makes a pronouncement - a culture-shift happens when the attitudes and behaviors of people change. At the root of any successful change you will increasingly find the qualities of love and trust, which together create the freedom for us to make the right decisions, to connect with others, to challenge and to innovate.
These changes occur every day at the Iowa Juvenile Home. I know they happen because I was there Thursday night in an ice storm when the kids themselves told their side of the story.
Over ten thousand people felt strong enough to say they don't agree either, and it was clear from their courage that a strong case was made for continuing something as good and ethical as the Iowa Juvenile Home.
Governor - don't wait for a push. Change takes one brave soul, and that soul can be you.