F. Neil Folks: The wake up call
April 22, 2015
To the editor:
As I have been reflecting over current events in our community recently, I realize that I think we owe the three branches of our federal government a note of gratitude for the service they have done us, EPA, BLM and Fish and Wildlife Service. I've expressed this thought to the county commissioners and city council last Tuesday. We need to send them a thank you note thanking them for the wake up call they gave us. Had it not been for their efforts, I don't think we as community would have come together as we are starting to now.
Thomas Jefferson once said, "Freedom is not free. It takes constant vigilance by the people upon our government to make sure it serves the people or we will lose our freedoms." Due to the recent activities and challenges of our federal government , they have shaken us out of our lethargy, our compliancy, our silos, our being a bit too comfortable with the status quo — that someone will care for us, the energy industry for example. Their activity has woken the community up, particularly our leadership, to the fact that it is only us that can do the work of building community, or we will find ourselves in servitude, as President Jefferson warned. We've fallen into survival mode rather than looking toward the future.
Just in the past month or so, I have been observing how our independent community groups, particularly the leaderships, are realizing that they are part of a much bigger picture, that each part depends upon other parts or groups to make community function. I'm seeing various key organization leaders now coming together and start working on our first common problem — communication. I've been in on several key leadership meetings involving economic development and it's a blessing to observe these folks working together for a change instead of attempting to row the boat in opposite directions or shoot holes in the bottom of the boat before it leaves shore. We are all on this island together! So let's work together and maybe enjoy a BBQ with ice cream now and again to celebrate our positive efforts toward new shores.
Yes, there is a positive side coming out of our federal government's actions. It has given us a giant wake up call and is bringing us all together to solve our own problems that we created. Not any one of us has the total answer to our common dilemma, but working together, we'll construct the answer to becoming once again a healthy and vibrant community, a connected community. We have gotten too comfortable with some bad habits!
So, let us all swing in behind and give much needed support to our leaders. They are earning it.
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I look forward as a member of this community to serving them and the community in whatever capacity that's needed of me. How about the rest of you joining me?
God bless our community.
F. Neil Folks
The Wandering Elder