I'm supposed to be writing about taxes today, but the below just came in to my machine. I had to change priorities and forward it on at once. I couldn't have said it better. It is written by Jerry Hogan, County Judge of Rockwall County. I've never met him, but I like him.
The Workers, the Lookers, and the Shirkers
A good friend of mine talks about how people can be categorized into three distinct groups: the Workers, the Lookers, and the Shirkers. In the case of the Workers, these are the people who are always involved when something needs to be done. They commit themselves to the task and they are the ones that can always be counted upon to help. The Lookers, on the other hand, are those people who are not really sure they want to get involved. They stand to the side and observe what is happening but are not ready to volunteer at this time to really help those workers involved with trying to make things happen. As long as someone else does it, they are happy. The Shirkers flat out don't want anything to do with what is going on. They see the Workers and the Lookers, but they just want to do their own thing and not be involved. They are the ones you will see slinking off into the sunset when someone asks for help.
So how does this apply in an article written about Rockwall County, Texas? My contention is the citizens of our County fall into these three groups.
Let me be more specific. Early in March the Primary election was held in our County where County, State, and Federal candidates were selected for various offices. In our County we have 50,228 registered voters who have taken the time to fill out the registration forms so they can vote in the various elections which are held. In this election, 9,486, or 18.8% of those voters who have expressed an interest in voting actually did vote. These voters are the same ones who volunteer to be on the Home Owners Association Board of Directors who spend their evening once or twice a month volunteering to make it better for all in the neighborhood. They are the ones who run for school boards and city councils. They volunteer to help at the library, at the hospital, and to deliver "Meals on Wheels." They belong to the various civic clubs and they are the ones you always see at community events.
The other 40,742 who elected to not vote can be put in the category of the Lookers; they are interested enough to want to vote but not necessarily interested enough to actually make the effort to go to the voting place to cast their ballot. They may have an opinion on who they would vote for if they got to the polls, but are not strong enough in their opinion to make the necessary effort. Maybe one of these days these voters will switch from Lookers to voters, but it will take a conscious effort.
Now the Shirkers are the interesting group in this example. These are the bottom feeding, mud crawlers who hide behind anonymous Web sites in the community and spit out their caustic venom on what is wrong with every candidate who is seeking elected office. They are great criticizers, but are never willing to throw their hat in the ring and work to make things better. Will you ever see these people trying to be part of the Workers who make things better? Not unless they change their attitude and join the human race.
How about another example that applies directly to our Rockwall County community.
In March, notices were sent to 3,000 citizens requesting they report to the new Courthouse on a Friday to start the jury selection process for an upcoming trial. How many do you think showed up; 1,243 or 41%. Before you get too distraught, for a normal weekly jury pool notice, 30% of the citizens actually show up for this civic duty.
You decide for yourself what the categories should be. Workers...those that showed up; Lookers...those who had a reasonable reason not to be there and wouldn't make the effort to change their commitment so they could do their community duty; and Shirkers...those who bragged about how they just didn't go because it would be just a waste of their valuable time.
The point of this whole article. We all have the ability and the talent to contribute to make things better where we live. We are a fast growing county that will have an influx of new citizens as time progresses. How those new people are taught about our community is up to all of us. Do we want a community of Workers or will we be content to have a group of Lookers and, even worse, a cesspool of mud crawling Shirkers who rely on an anonymous name on a website to tell everyone in Rockwall County what is wrong rather than offering their talents to help make it better.
It's your call. Do you want to be a Worker, a Looker, or a Shirker?
Jerry Hogan is the County Judge of Rockwall County Texas.