We hear people talk about quality of life all the time. It’s one of those feel-good phrases that are loved by local, state and federal politicians when they want to say something good without really saying something at all.
Think about it. What is quality of life?
A person’s health is one factor when we are talking about an individual’s quality of life, as is how big their pocketbook might be or how successful their children are.
Industry and institutions grasp this concept such as when schools talk about excellent test scores, the winning baseball team or the enthusiasm of their teachers. Businesses seek it in attracting people to offices that are neat and clean, with managers who work hard to develop young talent and a corporate culture that recognizes and rewards hard work.
Towns and communities have it, too. And that quality of life is very similar to the quality of life of the individual, industry and institutions.
Questions that lead to truth are the best way to arrive at answers and solve problems
How healthy is our community? How safe is our community? How clean is our community? Is there a winning attitude in this town? Do residents have enthusiasm for their community? Do we work to attract people to town? Do we welcome them when they get here?
Can people find what they need in Clarksdale? Is there a list somewhere that charts what Clarksdale lacks? Are there people in our town who then go out and recruit people, businesses and services to fill those gaps? Do we have leaders trained, schooled and gifted with the talents to solve problems and find solutions? Do we recognize and reward hard work and success?
I’ve not been here long but asking questions is a job I’ve had for a long time. The questions I posed above are issues Clarksdale – as a community -- has to answer.
Safety of body and property are a concern in this town, efforts are being made to clean up and we are seeing the bloom of a rejuvenated economy and the winning attitude that a positive business climate brings. Sadly, we still have nay-sayers, we need more people moving to town and we always need to sincerely smile when we welcome anyone – foreigner and local alike – into our neighborhood, business or church.
Clarksdale has people who want things to change – who want things to get better – and they are willing to roll up their sleeves to make it happen. This town is blessed with people who love Clarksdale and sell it every chance they get. We need to find more ways to recognize and reward their hard work.
Clarksdale is a neat place to live. Too often that uniqueness and charm as well as the poverty and bleakness is lost on people who have lived here all their lives. To them it’s just the way it has always been.
My suggestion is to find some way to rally the troops and chart a course and roll over those obstacles stand in our way. Because nothing short of the quality of life we call Clarksdale is at stake.
Floyd Ingram is a horn-tooting, drum-beating cheerleader for Clarksdale and urges you to join him on his quest. He can be reached at your Clarksdale Press Register at 627-2201.