06/22/13 — Stand: We need leadership that doesn't squander community's future

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Stand: We need leadership that doesn't squander community's future

It is not easy to stand up.

It is much easier to stand back and to wait for someone to say what you are thinking -- and discussing among friends.

But that is not how a community gets better or how you get officials to change course.

It takes courage to make a difference.

And if you are the leaders of a party with great ideas and real possibilities for contributing to the future of a community, you do not sit back when you know something needs to be done or when your gut tells you someone is headed in the wrong direction.

You don't wait for the next election. You don't shake your head and wonder what went wrong.

You stand up, now, when it matters.

And we are at that point.

Politicians do not often hear what people really think -- especially if those people will have to deal with them for four years.

Leaders of organizations, retired leaders and others of influence in a community do not want to damage their own organizations' possibilities by telling elected officials that they are making a mistake or that their logic is flawed.

And politicians do not often seek out detractors or those who might disagree. They prefer instead those who shake the pompoms and lead the cheering section. After all, who wouldn't want positive reinforcement?

But it is time for that to be set aside.

This community needs more.

The time has come for leaders of both parties to stand and to be counted, to lead real discussions about decisions and directions and to move forward with vision and the realization that no one person or ideology has all the answers and that there is some truth in every vision.

There are respected members of this community with experience, ideas and contributions to make and they are vital to the planning of the next steps for Goldsboro and Wayne County.

And while they might not be in the public eye or in public office anymore, they have a responsibility to care for the community they helped build.

They can speak up.

They can offer their thoughts.

They can help forge a new path.

They can stop an out-of-control freight train.

What makes a successful politician or leader is not the achievements he racks up or the rhetoric he spouts.

Although, contrary to what some local politicians seem to think, he should be held accountable for that commentary, especially when it is ridiculous and quite frankly, wrong.

It is the success he fosters, the bridges he builds and the atmosphere of progress he creates. Leaders leave marks, not bullying blowhards.

And that sort of accomplishment starts with respect, knowledge and, most importantly, humility.

There is much wisdom out in this community -- men and women who have achieved much with just this sort of philosophy. They have taken a much-deserved break from the fray, choosing to let a new round of leaders take charge.

And that is understandable.

But they are needed more than ever now, perhaps as an inspiration, perhaps as traffic cops, but soon, before a chance to make a community that fosters reasonable growth with a vision for the possibilities of the future and a responsible wary spending eye is squandered in a flash of ego, miscues and bad policy.

We could use a little perspective and maturity along with a good dose of experience from lessons learned along the way.

And we need it now.

Published in Editorials on June 22, 2013 11:12 PM