We each have different gifts we can offer to the city that we live in and love – volunteering, serving on boards, joining the Civic Club, encouraging, leading and caring about each other. These are God’s gifts to us for one another. Instead of foolish pride there is faith, humility, encouragement, generosity, hard work, and good humor. Yes…. good humor. Thank God for good humor.
There is a saying that goes like this: “Don’t ever say anything bad about someone from Dayton, because chances are the person you tell either knows or is related to them.” The same goes for the way nearly everyone acts every four years a mayoral election takes place. In their quest to pick “their guy”, many Daytonians hide behind their keyboards and post absurd allegations and insults on Facebook group pages against the opponent of the person they are voting for.
Truth be told, EVERY candidate who has ever run for mayor (or city council) in this town abhors the way we treat each other every election year. As a result of such ridiculousness, the residents whose candidate loses will reluctantly accept the results of the election. That is until the next election, when the vicious cycle will once again rear its ugly head. This has to stop.
I remember the story about a complaining citizen, the one who never participated in any city functions, and who only came to city events with his family when there wasn’t something more entertaining planned for the day. As he was driving home one day after a Light up Dayton event, he was complaining to his family. He said, “This city needs to give out better gifts. The lines were too long and the pizza was cold.” He went on and on, complaining about virtually everything. Finally, his very observant son said, “Dad, come on, you’ve got to admit it wasn’t that bad considering I have this cool toy that didn’t cost you anything. Why don’t you help next year?”
It is obvious that the City of Dayton has some challenges in the future, and everyone here will need to utilize and give their gifts of time, talent and treasure to help Dayton move forward. I am speaking to each of you. I am leaving no one out. I am speaking to all Dayton citizens either present or absent on any particular day. Each of you has different gifts, and we are going to need to source them all. It’s what all successful cities do.
There are three types of people that may be found in every city. They are the “fair weather fans”, the “fiddlers”, and the “mustard seeds”. The time to choose which type citizen you will be for 2019 is at hand.
Will you be a “fair weather fan” who leaves when the going gets tough? Some have left us recently, unwilling to make a sacrifice or contribute their gifts as we continue to restructure and rebuild. The future looks very bright.
Will you be a “fiddler” just standing around like Nero, who fiddled while Rome burns? Someone who not only refuses to sacrifice or contribute a gift, but will possibly even stand in the way of others running to the fire?
Or will you be a tiny “mustard seed”? A tiny seed planted firmly in the midst of Dayton; so grounded that you are willing to sacrifice your most precious living gifts with a commitment to love your neighbors and city.
Regardless of the results of the November 6 election, The City of Dayton needs mustard seeds for 2019 and beyond. Will you be one? Will you contribute your gifts like never before? If not, the vision and growth of Dayton will suffer every four years. Do what is right; we all deserve better than this.
Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving,
Mike Lenz, Editor
Dayton Community News
Dayton Community News