Any change needed begins with you

By EMILY JACKSON,

With election run-offs behind us many are not very happy with the results. Some complain about Supervisors for districts or even for candidates a little higher up in the state such as governor.  Maybe your candidate of choice did not make the final cut, but take the opportunity to give others the opportunity to earn your support and maybe even your vote in the next election.

Voting is different now than it was when I was little. I stayed with my Mawmaw most days and on election day we would get dressed, put a comb in our hair and ride down to the little shed they used as a voting booth in our neck of the woods. It was much more secretive then and I would have to sit in a chair as she went into the stall-type booth and pulled the curtain closed.

All I could see was her dress shoes with the small heel and her pantyhose clad legs, she always wore those because you never knew who you would see at the polls, and I would sit in that chair and be so proud of her voting. I would dream of the day I could go in there and vote and thought “man, it must really be something to vote, if only I could get behind that curtain” Well today I try to keep up with the politics and I do my fair share of voting and complaining.

The truth is in every one of these positions the elected officials can only do with what they have been given. I often hear people complain about road conditions, bridges, or the state of the county. Believe it or not they do operate on a budget and that budget is based on the tax dollars available.  So many citizens in small towns are refusing to shop local. It may be a little higher, but spending your dollars locally puts back into your own economy. While you may save a dollar or two on items in a bigger, more densely populated area you still have to spend gas to get there and your dollars are benefiting their economy.

Want to see a lot of change in the upcoming years? Bring in new businesses, spend dollars locally, and support your community. Materials for roads are not cheap and on a limited budget you can only do so much with what you are given. Maybe that is not an excuse for any of the problems you have faced, but watching businesses try to open locally and leave within a year shows the lack of support.

We have no problem giving money to a big company. We pay these big companies and may never have a face or name to go with the money we are spending. That money might just cushion the pocket of their CEO a little bit more than it already was cushioned. When you spend money here at home you know the family that owns that store. You help them sponsor your child’s little league team, you pay their child’s tuition for gymnastic class, and you keep their little business going.

Take the time to see what you have in your area that compares to the bigger stores, bigger agents, or larger dealerships. It may cost a little more or the price may be the same, but remember where the money is going. Are you investing back into your community or is it going into a community that you are not a part of? Local businesses usually start as a dream and your dollars determine whether that dream comes true or fails.

The change we need starts with our own citizens at the bottom and they form the base for the tone and condition of our community. So maybe that is not your candidate, but the community is what you make of it. Volunteer to help out, spend time and money locally, or simply voice your concerns at a board meeting. Your support goes a long way when it comes to making improvements in the community. You can criticize the candidates and choices all day, but the real agent for change begins with you.