As we wrap up 2018 and look forward to 2019, it might be a good time to consider what Abraham Lincoln had in mind when he said this: “I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live in it so that his place will be proud of him.”
Our “place” is Montgomery. When citizens believe their City is wonderful––that it offers a lot to do, looks nice and welcomes all kinds of people––they become attached to it. It becomes not just any place but “our place.” The success of “our place” depends on how well people engage with each other and how much they care about each other. In short — how much they “step up.”
Being on Council involves “stepping up” for Council meetings, committee meetings, public events, etc. Showing up AND contributing — not just occupying a chair.
Our staff operates under the High-Performance Organization (HPO) concept. In a nutshell, that involves more than just doing their assigned jobs––they also are expected to engage with people, take ownership, exhibit leadership, and constantly look for new ways to improve the City. They “step up.”
Our volunteers “step up” to work on Boards and Commissions and at lots of various events like Fourth of July, Bastille Day, Harvest Moon Family Festival, etc. Also, over the past 11 years close to 300 citizens have participated in the Montgomery Citizens Leadership Academy (MCLA). They are all “stepping up.”
Lots of residents also “step up” to participate in Church events, youth activities, and clubs and organizations of many types that strengthen the community.
Montgomery businesses “step up” when they find ways to engage with the community that goes beyond their core business activities. Example: Ohio National Financial Services with their Victorian Holiday Village.
The parents in our town who “step up” actually take a strong interest in their kids and take the job of raising them well seriously. These parents also stay engaged with their aging parents and do not just forget about them.
Most American adults know only a handful of their neighbors by name and sadly — many know no one in their vicinity at all. Neighbors who “step up” in Montgomery get out and get to know the folks who live around them. They even go a step further and find ways to help each other out.
When people are invisible, uninvolved, tuned out, self-absorbed, aloof and disconnected the quality of life in Montgomery diminishes for all. Citizens who “step up” don’t instinctively blame others for everything that happens. They don’t make a career out of whining and complaining. They say “what can I do?” or “how can I help?”
Good people, good families, and great towns don’t just happen. It takes some commitment. Do your part. Let’s all “step up”!