State motto is ‘lame’

Here’s a little food for thought that came to me as I was sitting on my couch, working a crossword.

There were numerous clues pertaining to the mottos of various states, among which was Washington. Many of the states featured Latin phrases, most of which were translated into English, that conveyed some sort of message of inspiration, defiance, godliness, prosperity or sarcasm — usually something that could be pointed to with at least a semblance of pride or respect. Some had vague meanings, which I could not quite comprehend but which, I suppose, meant something to someone and so would suffice for those states.

When I came to Washington, I was not impressed. I hope no one will accuse me of being prejudiced, or think I have no right to say this, but our state motto has no pizzazz, no panache or flair. In other words, it is lame!

As I remember, it took the Legislature almost a full session to come up with the native phrase “Al-ki.” What does it mean, you ask? It means “By and by.” I can not believe our esteemed Legislature could not come up with something meaningful than Al-ki, which, to my mind, is almost as exciting as watching paint dry, or fishing for salmon in a wading pool.

Then again, knowing how our Legislature works, and how they get along so well, maybe this is the best they could do. I mean no disrespect to the native tribes whose words and phrases are so much a part of life in this state, and where this word originated — but is it too late to have the Legislature try again?

I believe the Legislature owes us a meaningful state motto, such as “Let the people govern.” Or perhaps something like “One person, one vote.” How about “Individuals count more than parties.” Or perhaps “Dare to dissent.”

Any and all dissenting opinions to this letter will be sincerely accepted, appreciated, considered and expected, but, more than likely, not answered.

Larry Wakefield