Letter to the Editor: Residents must work for change
Sunday, February 3, 2019
You may have noticed recently the sign of the newest tenant at the Mills when driving past on Falls Road: The Rocky Mount Telegram.
Ever since the newspaper moved offices over the holidays, it seems the staff has had a new energy that has been evidenced by it releasing with great haste over the past two weeks its own version of an old-fashioned newspaper extra on problems at City Hall that our leadership has not been forthcoming about.
And, contrary to the mayor's dismissal of "newspaper articles and Facebook posts" in his statement at the City Council meeting this past Monday, it is largely thanks to the newspaper and the resulting discussion on social media (the modern day equivalent of a water cooler and front porch, for better or worse) that facts have come to light that concern the management and direction of our city. We should all be thankful for a free press in our country and that our city has its own local news publication to promote transparency and accountability.
However, let's not stop at being consumers of media. In the early 20th century, a British newspaper reportedly asked the question "What is wrong with the world?" There being something wrong with the world not being anything new, it received many replies. But the shortest and most honest was from the author G. K. Chesterton, "I am."
It is very easy to judge and form opinions about the problems of others from the safe distance of a screen or the comfort of our homes. It is much more difficult to ask oneself, "How, by my action or inaction, have I contributed to this problem?" and then to work to change it.
Everyone wants the success of Rocky Mount. Now that we are informed about the problems getting there, the real test will be to ask ourselves — how can I get involved and do something about it?
The easy way out, on the other hand, is to just blame our city government.
A. E. Green