Everyday, I have the opportunity to hear about the struggles that many of us are facing. It is impossible to watch a single news show without hearing about tragedy and misfortune. During these extraordinarily difficult economic times, everyone has been affected in some way. It is these thoughts and concerns that I am reminded of Paul’s words in Romans 15:14, “I feel myself confident about you, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another.”
If during these times, we had the heart of Paul, we would be more encouraging of each other. We would support those chosen for leadership positions to work hard on behalf of those they serve. We would serve our communities more willingly. We would have elected officials work more collaboratively and for the greater good — not partisan politics.
We would engage in good productive dialogue and debate believing that no one has all the answers and that we are stronger in unity. We would begin our dialogue from a position of respect for our neighbor. We would lead in a way that we value differences of opinion and differences in each other.
When did we become a country, a state, and a community that chooses to act differently than Paul’s instruction? When did we choose party politics and personal agendas over the needs for the common good? When did personal attacks become so commonplace they are condoned and accepted?
Imagine what we could become as a community, a state, and a nation if we were to humble ourselves. Imagine the good that would occur if we genuinely believed our neighbors were good and knowledgeable. What if we were truly confident in each other?
These are extraordinarily difficult times. They are times that call for new ways of thinking, new solutions, and most importantly a change in how we approach issues. We need good, honest, and trustworthy leaders who will lead by example and do what is right. We need to fully debate all issues and collaboratively solve for them. We need to encourage one another in all that we do.
The Greater Dalton community has tremendous assets. And yes, we have areas of opportunity. I am grateful to have a role at the chamber of commerce that allows me to work with so many in our community. We have tremendous ability within our leadership ranks. We have a strong industrial base that anchors our economic viability. And we are located in a region of the greatest country in the world that others would like to live.
As Paul says, I have great confidence in this community. I feel that our community has citizens full of goodness and knowledge that can tackle any problem. And I believe we can instruct one another in a way that is respectful, and based on mutual appreciation.
It is in these times that these words of encouragement are needed more than ever. As an economist stated last week, “we are out of the recession, it just won’t seem like it.” Let’s work as hard as ever to support one another while also supporting our community. May God bless each of you and the Greater Dalton Community!
Brian D. Anderson Sr. is president and CEO of the Dalton-Whitfield Chamber of Commerce.