Let’s end the week with a little encouragement because we sure need it.
Feels like every day’s an uphill climb for some folks. Someone is nasty, someone is negative, someone is trying to find dirt just to find it — at one point, it gets too much.
I’m here to encourage you and to assure that you are not alone.
Our community is filled with well-meaning people, whose hearts just burst in their love for Citrus County. Yet, they’re nearly ready to give up. They feel helpless from the burdens of this sudden and, frankly, alarming growth pace.
And they’re catching the brunt of others who are playing political games to score points with the influential for reasons totally unrelated to the betterment of our community.
Please don’t give up. We need you.
These are politicians and regular folk. Behind-the-scenes community leaders and retirees. All walks of life, all types of jobs. Some feel defeated, overwhelmed by negativity permeated by the Gotcha Gang.
The other night I got a call from a friend who is one such person. She has a good job in the community, doing worthwhile things. We’ve been friends for many years and I know her heart beats for Citrus County.
She was ready to quit. We talked for an hour and prayed. I reminded her that I often feel the same way myself, and we need to encourage one another.
Anyone who thinks he or she is handling these Citrus County challenges alone — you’re not. I can’t emphasize this enough. We have silos all over this county (I’ll get into that another time) and one result is folks feel isolated, like they alone must figure out the many challenges facing Citrus County. It’s not true. There are more people who want to build up than tear down.
For today, let me speak of one segment of our community who really need encouragement: Teachers.
I love teachers, love ‘em! My favorite Chronicle memories aren’t the award-winning Sunday stories, it’s the time I spent writing about teachers and kids doing cool stuff in classrooms. The walls around my desk were covered with visitor stickers from the county’s schools.
I got to know a lot of teachers and they are protective of those kids. Most teachers would do anything for their students.
To go through COVID-19 hell, trying to figure out how all that works, then the state Legislature debating and passing laws aimed at demoralizing educators and disenfranchising students, not to mention the daily grind of aggressive parents breathing down their necks — at some point, a person’s gotta wonder why he bothers with the hassle.
Teachers, let’s turn that around. Do not let these self-righteous haters rob you of your joy. My God, what a blessed profession! Some people start the day hoping to make a difference in their community. Teachers, you do that just by showing up. Those kids arrive for school, you know they’re feeling stressed as well, and you provide stability and friendship.
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it on a good day. That’s why I have so much respect for teachers. They’re heroes. I hope as they’re dodging darts they know that.
—About the photo: I was going to try an analogy about good times being right around the track, but that just didn’t work. I liked the photo, though.
Special Just Wright Citrus credit if you can tell me where that is. (Hint: I disregarded a “no trespassing” sign to get there. Don’t tell anyone.)
Enjoy the weekend, friends.
Join the discussion on our Facebook page.
Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.