Last night I attended a community meeting that gave me a clearer understanding of the power of the presence of individuals. I have been having concerns about the direction that one of our communities institutions has been choosing to follow. Many individuals in the community have shared with me specific statements and actions that one of the leaders of this institution has taken which has caused them concerned. I have experienced similar concerns myself and so I decided that I needed to be more proactive in trying to gain insights and be more present when the board of this institution met so I was dealing with facts and not hearsay. I also encouraged other individuals to attend and some of them did.
What I found interesting is the impact upon discussions and non-verbal communications that occurred when there were a number of citizens present at the meeting. I believe the presence of citizens communicated to the leaders of the institution that there were individuals who desired positive directions and decisions to be pursued for the benefit of those that the institution is designed to serve. My hope is that this would be seen as a supportive and involved group of citizens instead of an adversarial group. That being said, I do believe that it is important for the citizens to hold the leaders accountable and to ask questions that encourage informed decisions with a variety of input versus the input of one.
The other interesting discovery is that the presence of concerned citizens helped create an atmosphere of light. What I mean by that is that the actions that took place, the statements that were made, and the discussions that occurred all happened in a very public light. Again, I find this to be an important responsibility which is placed upon the citizenry. We must attend these meetings so that we hear directly what those whom we elect are discussing and taking actions upon. This way it is not gossip that drives our thoughts but truth. Some leaders do not operate well when the light is shined upon them. They prefer to operate in the dark because then they are able to retain power and pursue their own agendas.
All of these thoughts have led me back to a quote from Scripture:
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.