Over 100 years ago, there was a farming community that wanted to build a church. They had a common goal, and everyone was asked to bring stones to the site to build it. Each Sunday they brought stones and piled them up, and when they had enough, construction began. That church still stands today, built with the original stones the church members brought from the fields nearby, with investment of their patience and dedication to reaching the common goal.
As a citizen I look to our country to invest wisely, conservatively and
with an eye towards the fiscal responsibility that we use each day at
our own kitchen tables. Building for the future will take our dedication - but there is no sacrifice when you’re all working toward a common goal and the investment is going to pay you back over the long haul.
We know about long hauls. One of my kids is working driving a truck route, which keeps him on the road for days at a time. His young family is grateful he has a job, but his not being with them is quite a price to pay. Some young people lose themselves in the otherworld of media, celebrities and star athletes, and in the illusion that they are entitled to whatever they desire. During these hard times, I’m sure a lot of desires for instant gratifications are not being met. They will mature, and it will be a hard lesson.
What is a future that we can work for, that we can invest in? I want my kids to have jobs, and good jobs in Northwest Georgia that allow them to be home at night with their families. Don’t we all? Isn’t this our common goal? Politics of divisiveness and class warfare may be going on at the national level, the media level - but we are not waiting on government policies or handouts. Our leaders here can create that common thread, show the benefits of achieving that common goal, and lead the charge to achieve it.
And lead it now. Get everyone together in the same direction, choose the path of least resistance, take the stones from arguments of the past and use them instead to build a future for ourselves and our children. Let us turn our words into actions. We can’t afford to let a 30 year old argument turn into a 60 year old argument. Northwest Georgia is welcoming new business, now that Caterpillar has come to the state of Georgia. In the next 5-6 years, all their vendors will be coming here and building new businesses. We cannot let them choose to relocate to a different area because of old issues here that make us look divided - that we are fighting over taxes, the 411 connector, and even harsh feelings in the different counties because they feel they’re holding each other captive. It’s time to break that up. Now.
I want Northwest Georgia to show itself unified, extremely positive, and ready for business. In the past, the choices may have been pushed off as if needing a federal government decision. I want to bring the leadership to make a decision by the citizens, and make it before we are going to miss out on some much needed revenue that we will not get another chance to achieve. We are in a position to make it happen and set an example.
At my church, they recently made an announcement that they wanted everyone to bring stones to the church again – because we’re going to be adding onto the church. Everybody’s going to have a hand in building. Everybody needs to bring stones, to help rebuild our community. I will keep taking stones to my church until we have enough for this expansion. And all of us will have ownership in it, all of us will be proud of it.
The opportunity to invest in ourselves and have ownership in the next boom falls to the decision-makers right now. You either build it, or you don’t. I say build it, and bring the jobs now, in this world. Maybe there will be an opportunity for my boy to find a good job locally - and there will be better opportunities for all of us.