This guest blog post is from my Sister-In-Law, the editor and publisher of the Courier-Times, serving the communities of Sutherland, Hershey and Paxton. She writes a "Weekly Focus" column in each issue, and I think this column is a good analysis of how things get done in a small town.
Did you ever hear the story about the couple who repaired, remodeled and redecorated their home to sell it, and then fell in love with it all over again and couldn't bear to part with it?
Believe it or not, all of our communities are, in a way, 'for sale', to those passing by - to those who might choose a new place to live - to those who might want to establish a business - to those looking for something better.
Our communities attract 'buyers' who fit the community or who already have personal ties to the area. The question follows, "What types of people would you like to have occupy the homes, businesses and schools of your community tomorrow? What type of neighbors would you like to have? What type of neighbor would you like to be?"
Sometimes the most important thing we can give toward the future of a family, a business, a church congregation, a club or service organization, a community, a state or a nation, is learning how to work better together.
The Japanese poet Ryunosuke Satoro said, "Individually, we are one drop, together we are an ocean.
Sometimes I have seen the best and brightest who 'generally work alone' fall far behind in achievement to the 'regular folks' who work well together. It's simply a matter of focusing our energy in one direction, rather than working in opposition to one another. It usually boils down to getting the work done without worrying about who gets the credit - or the blame.
Perhaps that's why leading companies all over the world put so much emphasis on learning how to be a 'team player.'
Yesterday I read that teamwork is the 'ability to work together toward a common vision - the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives - the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.'
Working together may mean allowing someone else to have the floor to speak their mind without our needing to correct or belittle them. It may mean volunteering our time, even if we think we've volunteered more than most. Out of respect for others, it may mean treating everything we have as if it were 'for sale.'
It has been my observation that working together in unity is rarely done on human strength alone, but rather is powered from above.
President Lyndon B. Johnson said, "The men who have guided the destiny of the United States have found the strength for their tasks by going to their knees. This private unity of public men and their God is an enduring source of reassurance for the people of America."
Whatever our focus, perhaps our best efforts and our greatest achievements will begin on our knees.
Thanks for stopping by. Join me for coffee and we'll talk about working together to make our communities better.