When times are tough, you’d think heroes would abound. I wish it were true.
In the midst of a crisis, people often freeze up. A few years ago, in the midst of our downward economic spiral, we should have tried something new, just as we would hope our pilot would do something if our airplane was spiraling out of control. Instead, immediately before, during and following our recent Global Financial Meltdown, decisive action was often too little, too late and too ineffective.
In such times, we suffer from the curse of conventional wisdom and the status quo, precisely when we need imaginative ideas. We need heroes, but we often ask those who got us into a mess to get us out. We shouldn’t be surprised when they recommend the same policies that have already failed. Failed policymakers seem surprised when the tools in their toolbox invariably fail to work.
Meanwhile, the rest of us suffer some frustration and then decide to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and take a collective future into our own hands. We rarely do so, though, until we must.
I’d have it no other way. The nice thing about seizing our own fate is that it creates local heroes among us.
To me, a local hero is not one who dares to dream. Anyone can have a vision. But, a vision in isolation is simply delusion. A vision combined with action is shear inspiration. We’ve have many such heroes of late in Plattsburgh and the North Country.
Some strive to make our residents more comfortable. We have some wonderful groups of committed individuals who have made a life of caring for those less fortunate. The United Way, the Council for the Aging, those who staff our assisted living and nursing homes, and myriad others make today better by caring for those here and in need today.