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Making the shift from ‘Serve Us’ to ‘Service’ PDF Print E-mail

By Russ Pankonin, The Imperial Republican

Last week my colleague Jan Schultz cautioned our community that we can’t depend on “Someone Else” to always pick up the slack to get things done in our community. Sadly,  her words have become all too true.
Going forward, our community stands on the edge of a generational shift. Sons and daughters are moving back home to join the family business or in some cases take over the family business.
Our school is growing once again as these young people return home to raise their families in the environment they knew growing up.
And like our generation, these young parents are busy making their livelihoods and most importantly, raising their families. As a young parent, I recall the challenge of fitting everything in, especially when it came time to give back to my kids and community. But somehow we did it, proudly.
Like their parents before them and their parents before them, my parents wanted to see us have a better life than they did. I wanted the same for my kids and my kids want the same for their kids.
But unfortunately, something’s been lost along the way.  In our quest to make things better, and perhaps easier, there seems to be an attitude that has developed where service has come to mean “Serve Us.”
That “Serve Us” attitude leads us to the story of the person named “Someone Else.”
When it came time to give back to the community and make our home a better place to live, Someone Else was always called upon to do the work.
When it came time for parents to coach their son’s little league team, the parents all thought they were too busy so left it up to Someone Else. Then, when Someone Else found coaches, who just happened to be girls, parents couldn’t stand it.
The question I have is where were those parents in the first place? It should have never been Someone Else’s problem.
We can’t expect Someone Else to carry the load for us. If our community, and our society for that matter, is going to continue to move forward, then it’s time for a paradigm shift in thinking from “Serve Us” to “Service.”
If not, someday we’re going to look around and Someone Else won’t be there to bail us out.