If we’re going to find solutions to the challenges we face in this country, we need to spend less time fretting about things that are out of our control and invest our energy in thinking creatively about things we can change.
Many things of lasting significance are possible when a community pulls together. There’s something powerful and inspiring about people with radically different perspectives choosing to find common ground.
It certainly is more fun and rewarding to actually accomplish things while those who dedicate themselves to perpetual conflict find themselves unable to make a difference.
It just depends on what you value — endless arguing and blaming, or doing things. My preference is for the latter.
On Wednesday, Nov. 18, there’s a very interesting conference happening in the fine city of Pateros that is focused on getting things done and finding ways move North Central Washington forward.
The Initiative for Rural Innovation and Stewardship is sponsoring the NCW Success Summit to highlight some of the many community efforts in the region that are making a difference.
The focus is on community members finding ways to get things done not by waiting for government to solve an issue but instead by taking the initiative and charging forward. Think of it as an example the pioneer spirit that built this region, people who worked together to get things done.
It’s about what can be accomplished rather than what “those people” are preventing us from doing.
North Central Washington is a hotbed of these constructive community endeavors and some of the stories will be highlighted at the Success Summit. They’ll hear from Rich Watson of Chelan who’s going to talk about the impact of the NCW Business Loan Fund. The Stemilt Partnership, a collaborative effort involving a wide variety of interest groups to create a long-term vision for an area that could easily be compromised by development in the wrong places, is another success story on the agenda.
Waterville’s Keith Soderstrom, who heads Bainbridge Manufacturing, will share his company’s success and the story of the Twisp Public Development Authority will be retold.
All of us who live in the region have a significant stake in the long-term environmental health, economic viability and social and cultural development of our communities. We have to try striking a balance between those objectives without sacrificing the others. It’s not an easy task, but it certainly can be done.
There’s far greater opportunity for moving forward by focusing on areas where people agree, rather than isolating the areas of conflict or dispute.
To the extent we can learn from these success stories and use them to give us a sense of confidence in our ability to solve issues by ourselves, we will create a stronger framework for the future. Relying on ourselves simplifies life significantly.
Rufus Woods is editor and publisher of The Wenatchee World. Reach him at 665-1162 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.