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Monday, April 25, 2011

What's In It For Me?

Troy residents have been categorized as seeing the city issues from a "me" perspective. As in...

-- don't raise MY taxes!
-- why should *I* fund *your* library?
-- I don't use those things...shut them down!

We have more than a revenue problem. We have a PRONOUN problem. In Troy today, there is no "we" or "us."

With few issues is this so apparent as it is with the library. From the Albert Shanker Institute blog:

Closing libraries – there is no other way to put this – is a symptom of societal decay. Libraries are a symbol of functional democracy and informed citizens – and, indeed, of an enlightened people. Many of our nation’s most celebrated figures, from Benjamin Banneker and Abigail Adams to Abraham Lincoln, Ray Bradbury and Jack London, educated themselves in public libraries. These institutions represent our collective commitment to equal access to knowledge and information, regardless of status or income.

Today, even in the full presence the ardent effort of library proponents and those wanting sustainability in Troy, anti-taxers are still coming from a place of "me" and don't see why THEY should have to pay for MY library.

They don't see the collective benefit to a city that a library provides. They will try to CONVINCE you, in front of TV cameras, reporters of city council at the podium that OF COURSE they want that library.

But their every word and action elsewhere belies that sentiment.

In the end, it still comes down to a "me" problem.

Great communities aren't built on "me" perspectives.

Troy used to be great because it was about "US." Until we get there again, we will not be able to rebuild this community.

Time to go check out a grammar book from that library and figure out how to use the correct pronouns.

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