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New Year’s Resolution

January 9, 2011

As we begin a new year, the stormy clouds of change still seem to be looming overhead. Now like any optimist,  I see a good thunderstorm as helpful to our overall environment. Much like these clouds of change, the storm clouds oft seen in Ohio bring rain, lightning and a fresh breeze. All of which are much needed, the same conceptual idea applies here and now.

Ohio is in an interesting place, we’ve seen radical change in the leadership in Columbus. With the often over-inflated promises of reform and change coming forth (as always). But as I’ve said, we need to break our dependence on any direction from Columbus. Truly, change needs to take place here in our back yards.

A few years ago there was a popular bumper sticker that said “Think Globally, Act Locally”. This premise has returned in full force. As the British politician Peter Mandelson wrote recently, “globalization is the process by which national boundaries become progressively less relevant to our economic lives”. This being said, the concept of village/city, county, and even state lines are virtually irrelevant to our current time.

However, the problem as I see it is perception of identity. We are scared that we will loose ourselves and our identity if we allow ourselves to become a part of something bigger. Ada, Lima, Findlay, Bluffton, Columbus Grove, Ottawa, Kalida, Leipsic…all of these towns have very unique character and gifts differing. While we are good neighbors, each of these towns is fiercely competitive with each other, even with the counties they lie within. The division is ingrained upon the culture, from the high schools to the regional planning bodies.

Truly most people have good intentions and the spirit of collaboration is alive, but, not quite well. How will 2011 play out for this concept? It is to early to say, but now is the time to enact one of the oldest traditions for New Years, the resolution.

My New Years resolution is quite simple. Incidentally, I’ve found simple goals are easier then complex ones of course, plus the notion of giving up my coffee sends me into panic. My resolve this year will be to embrace our region for the wonderful gifts we have. From the workforce development side and our excellence in farming, manufacturing, innovation and education.  And from the community side, family, community pride, cooperation, and understanding.

Daunting? Yes, but most rewarding opportunities require hard work and dedication.

Plus, it should be easier then giving up coffee!

Eric

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