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STRAIGHT FROM THE MIKE: Another Principal for a Beloved Community



A lack of leadership and vision has cost many communities its momentum, economic vitality, and advancements.

It is a jolt to one’s common sense and remains such a wonder to see how we allow apathy to take control of our destiny. We sit by as lethargy usurps citizen energy and zeal from what is supposed to be enlightened work towards our common best interest.

With these thoughts in mind, I share with SPOTLIGHT readers my next principle of a beloved community, which is comprehension, which cannot be satisfied with superficial acts or people. When it comes to understanding what comprises a community and why it is so critical to the families that live in it, comprehension must be at the forefront.

For example, it is not enough to simply advocate for safety just for safety’s sake. This act is more than a notion for those of us who care about South Cobb. We know and accept that we must take greater steps to ensure our community’s wellbeing – as the root of peaceful and quality living, as well as the security of our family, rests within each one of us. We must be willing to take greater steps to secure this peace of mine. We feel free when we, as well as those we love, are safe and secure. We trust others when we know we can keep fear and harm away from our front doors and out of our neighborhood. Hence, the explosion of doorbell cameras and our reliance on it to pinpoint when bad things happen around us and feed that information “in real time” into the community pipeline so that others can act accordingly. Ask yourself, what actions are you taking – individually or collectively – to protect our family and our community? I do not know what your response will be, but my next question is this…What steps are you prepared to take today in our community to improve upon your response to this question?

Additionally, if we are to be a progressive community, it is not enough to advocate for changes and improvements in the community without realizing and embracing the value of education, its role, and its accompanying benefits. It is also not enough to advocate for quality education and schools without realizing that this demand has a price tag that we must be willing to fund. What are you willing to do to move beyond talking about the problem? What action are you prepared to take to move us from complacency to engagement when it comes to education in South Cobb?

Lastly, it is especially frustrating to hear people in leadership roles opine how they grew up in a particular community but moved away. Seldom is the follow up question posed to them…would you move back today?

Let’s wake up and look at our “Beloved Community. Comprehend what we need to do to move the needle and take immediate action to improve South Cobb.

It would be sheer neglect on my part if I failed to point out some truisms for you to comprehend:

  • There is no free lunch when it comes to major services for a community.
  • No one should be able to tell you what is best for your community, nor should you accept what they say, unless they live there with you.
  • There is no change without first, dissatisfaction.

The best community, common sense quote out there is by my good friend, Michael Opitz:

“Knowledge is power, ignorance is slavery, and apathy is destruction.”

Until next time…

Michael Murphy

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