Ah, another week, another writing challenge. Yes, my little online muse touched another nerve recently. At first glance, the prompt was simple enough, “What do you do to be involved in the community?” My mind races when I read something like this, and that is one of my curses. I am OVERLY analytical at times.
Overly analytical or not, the thoughts triggered by the above question deserve some attention. No, not my thoughts necessarily. If you do not tune me out about now, I will share some thoughts with you. Still, the thoughts I think are important are what others might think when they respond to such a question.
For many, the answer to the question above may be something like, “Huh?” In saying that, I am not taking a shot at folks for being unable to answer the question. The truth is that many people are involved in their communities but don’t think of it that way. No, they’re just living their lives, being a good neighbor, helping a friend or cause when possible, and hoping to keep food on the table.
Others may have a list of ways they feel they are involved. Whether they volunteer somewhere, donate to a community cause or agency, or do their share of keeping the community clean, uncluttered, and safe.
The last two paragraphs are based on study and experience. They are also based on some quick research I did before writing. The vast majority of my professional life has involved public service. That service ranged from decades in law enforcement to university-level teaching and volunteering in various organizations or entities supporting the community.
About now, some of you have a quizzical look and are muttering, “Do what?” under your breath. If so, I completely understand. For reasons I will explain in the follow-up to this piece, many people do not think of public servants such as police and fire personnel when asked about community involvement or service.
Friends, if your local cops, firefighters, emergency medical teams, animal control personnel, and other public servants are not involved in the community, you have a problem. Still, many people see the folks mentioned in the last sentence as low-level public servants who cannot get real jobs.
Have you ever wondered why that is? Stay tuned.
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