From The Mayor's Desk
Messages From the Mayor
It has been a year and I am still excited about serving the residents of Ferguson. With all of the community’s challenges, there is not a better community to live, work and play in. Below are highlights for my first year as Mayor.
MORE THAN A RESOLUTION
Resistance to change is universal. It invades all classes and culture, and it seizes every generation, attempting to stop forward progress. Many reasonable, wise, and educated people, even after being confronted with truth, are still unwilling to change their minds. It seems that we are too satisfied, too comfortable with the way that things are. Or maybe we are too afraid of change, and it is only when our situations, our decisions hurt or negatively impact us enough, that we even consider doing things differently.
In a “Peanuts” cartoon, Charlie Brown says to Linus: “Perhaps you can give me an answer, Linus. What would you do if you felt that no one liked you?” Linus replies, “I’d try to look at myself objectively, and see what I could do to improve. That’s my answer, Charlie Brown.” To which Charlie replies, “I hate that answer!”
Though we may laugh at this exchange if the truth is told most of us feel this way. Change can be hard. It is difficult to leave familiar territory, and convince ourselves that a path that feels uncomfortable, unfamiliar, and even painful sometimes, is the correct path for us. We fight it. We deny it. We even run in the opposite direction sometimes…all to avoid what is unfamiliar.
Soon the season will change and each of us will use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, text messages, emails and other communication means to share a friendly, “Happy New Year” greeting to friends, family, co-workers, and others. The ‘Happy” may be a little reserved or more powerful this year; especially since a new COVID variant, Omicron, threatens an increase in the current 50 million total COVID cases that have already occurred in the United States. But many of us, will make the requisite New Year’s resolutions and take this opportunity to make changes and improvements in how we currently live our lives.
Weight loss is the number one resolution that people will make. Others may resolve to simply eat healthier, garden or find some other way to make better health choices. Some may resolve to spend less, save more, work harder to reach their dreams, get new jobs, new homes, or approach life with a healthier attitude.
While all of us can’t do all those things, there is one thing that all of us can do – change the way that we treat each other. What if the most popular resolution this year was a change in attitude (disposition; attitude of hostility; state of mind toward another) toward our fellow human beings. What if this year we all resolved to be kinder to each other? To show more grace and understanding toward each other. To think about others sometimes; instead of constantly only thinking of ourselves.
What if we resolved to do what we really should always do; care about our fellow human beings and approach them in love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?
Could we plant seeds that could end up being one of our most powerful antidotes against the anger, frustration, depression and hate that COVID has uncovered and been a vehicle to spread.
I don’t know if it will work. Ultimately, some will choose not to participate and allow COVID to continue to not only take away lives but also our decency as a society. I think, though, it is worth a try.