World’s conditions, actions affect us all
During the past days, when all the shifting around was in action in the political campaigns, I was constantly checking newspapers and websites for the most recent announcements. Long-time friends were calling, and our talk was of speculation and opinion.
Unfortunately, added to all that flurry of activity were the terrorist attacks around the world and the unrest in Turkey. It left most of us gasping for air and looking for a solid place to find security and confidence.
Don and I had just spent two weeks at our farm in Harrison County. It was a time full of beauty, growth and friendships. We had rainstorms, yes, but they flooded little and pushed the farm crops right out of the soil and into the sun. We attended numerous community festivals that were prompted by our state’s bicentennial. After being closed for years, Wyandotte Cave reopened with a ceremony straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting, complete with professional naturalists, Boy Scouts and families with small children. We listened to performances at the Hurley D. Conrad Memorial Bandstand, rode in a buggy around the town of Corydon and were awed by the Kiwanis fireworks display. Our corn grew, tasseled out and the winter wheat and alfalfa were harvested.
None of these wonderful events happened without a lot of work, worry and cooperation. We currently have some extremely capable leaders in Harrison County, but they could not have carried out all the recent successful activity without the commitment and participation of hundreds of volunteers.
Residents representing the widest range of our diversity are engaged in discussions, planning and executing actions that will impact our future. We don’t always agree on the needed approaches to a problem or opportunity. There are times we feel puzzled at ideas or decisions made by others. We might even have to admit that sometimes we feel just plain irked by something going on in our community.
But, we don’t retreat to the corner to drink coffee and complain while others do the work. We know that this current surge of movement in Harrison County will take all of us to sustain it.
Amidst this hurry and scurry, I visited with a good friend who emigrated here from Russia. She came to the United States a dozen years ago. She had been a trained geologist in Russia but had to give up that profession because she did not have the language skills to practice it here. She came to Indiana because she saw opportunity for a better life. It wasn’t easy to leave her mother and friends behind. It has been an interesting learning experience for me to witness some of the cultural and economic adjustments she has had to make through the years. She is a citizen now, has a good job, a new husband and her two children are well educated.
Wanting to get her unique perspective on this current set of political events, I asked her how she saw it all. Her answer: ‘I don’t think about such things. I don’t need to think about any of it. I have too much to do.’
I wonder how she thinks our system works. She found in her own life that the dictatorial communist life didn’t provide what she wanted. Does she think that good leadership just happens? Could she believe that others have more capacity than she to make good decisions and take appropriate actions? I am afraid she has the notion that ‘politicians’ are a bad lot and that she can have no impact on what happens. If she does, she doesn’t understand what we mean by a representative and participatory democracy.
In August, my friend is taking her new husband to visit Russia for the first time. She said he is a bit fearful of going to that ex-Soviet country. She expressed her observation that people who lived through the ‘cold war’ think Russia is still menacing. I realize that there are differing appraisals of the current climate in Russia even among my ex-Russian friends. However, with clear eyes, we can see Russian President Putin’s movement into Ukraine and, to a lesser degree, into the Baltic’s States.
There is need for all of us to be aware of conditions and actions all over the world.
The recent coup attempt in Turkey has direct impact on the United States. It is our world and, whether we like it or not, we must enter the discussion and get involved.
So, don’t just throw up your hands in disgust or dismay after reading or seeing the news. Respond by checking out other sources of information. Talk to your friends and expand your sense of responsibility and opportunity. We need to elect the best leaders possible and that takes all of us looking at the candidates and assessing their skills and beliefs. If you would rather not think or do these hard and unglamorous activities for yourself, think of the future of your grandchildren. Remember, if you don’t want to get involved, rest assured that someone else will be glad to take your place and implement his or her ideas.
What is the chance that a substitute for you will line up with your needs if you do not speak out?