So many may join an organization but hesitate to participate because they feel they just ‘don’t contribute’. Or worse, they feel inadequate, don’t have any idea of what is going on, and frankly feel afraid of making mistakes. In the realm of conservation and historic preservation; of eco-activism and community protection; it is often the need for more eyes and ears, than anything else.
I have listed on www.ppreservationist.com on the front page, three meetings scheduled to be held AT THE SAME TIME! Yet, I know, there are just a few individuals who have dedicate themselves to the task of attending these meetings. We are all indebted to those who sacrifice their lives to sit in and monitor them.
What do they do? They listen, they learn, they watch and they take notes, mentally and literally on paper. Just occasionally, they may speak.
So why is their attendance so important?
Because showing up says much. A big label is stuck on their forehead that shouts out vociferously, “I care!”. When volunteer committees come together and there is no one in the audience, it is so deflating and so demoralizing – they often think to themselves, does anyone care what we do or say here!?! It is that lack of community support that leaves the opening for a dark sider or a gainsayer to show up and say with a sly crocodile smile, “I care. In fact I care so much…This is what you should do…”
And if there is no one there to counter them, great harm occurs.
But if few are available, they can’t be everywhere – that is why we need more volunteers.
“But I’m a nobody,” you may say.
Great. In fact, that is your power. When a meeting convenes, the first instinct of many is to see who is actually there? Those who observe may say, “Yeah, that guy will speak for historic preservation. Yeah, that guy over there is for uncontrolled development. We know what “blah, blah” they will say” and that person becomes automatically stuck in a cubbyhole and discounted. But then YOU show up and they say, “Who is that? What do they know? Who do they know? What influence may they bring?” and “What new threat do they bring to the table?” Those on the committee and those in the audience do not know how to prepare, how to deal with this new situation and then; they feel, for those who would work ill – they better watch what they do or say.
For you see, dark siders and those with evil purposes in mind, do not lack in one department – intelligence. They know they can’t function out in the public forum; they must hide their deeds to be successful.
You, as a citizen and a caring volunteer will weld great influence by your presence.
Where there is no light, darkness thrives.
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.