Q&A - December 30, 2016

People who study group behavior often talk about the “80/20 Rule.” By this, they are describing an observation that in almost any population, 80 percent of the work is done by only 20 percent of the group members. But some argue this ratio may be too generous, asserting that in most groups or organizations, a mere 10 percent of the people do 90 percent of the work. Whichever percentage you accept, the concept is the same—a small minority of people often do most of the work.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume the 80/20 Rule is an accurate reflection for our town. This would mean 20 percent of our citizens are actively involved with the work of the community. If the adult population of Okmulgee is around 9,500, this would mean only 1,900 people (20%) are actively involved and doing the majority of the town’s work.

Let’s consider what the impact would be on Okmulgee if even more of our citizens were actively involved.

Q:What can I do in this new year to help out Okmulgee?

I have never been much for setting New Year’s resolutions because I believe I am fundamentally still the same person on January 1st that I was on December 31st, but the change of the calendar does offer a new reference point and perhaps a renewed incentive. Yes, 2017 can be a great year for Okmulgee.

In just the last couple of years, we have seen so many exciting improvements and encouraging signs in our community. With the Okmulgee Rising movement, we seem to have acquired a forward momentum that is really changing minds and appearances in this town. People are beginning to think more about solutions and less about problems, and this is making all the difference.

It would be a wonderful thing if even more residents made a conscious effort to get involved in the positive happenings in Okmulgee in 2017. This is entirely possible if more of us decide to contribute our time, treasure, or talent to a larger cause in town next year. Many organizations and groups are always looking for new members and volunteers. You could join a civic organization or a service club, meet new people and help organize an activity, or plan a public event. You could donate your time or services to a nonprofit organization or local foundation of your choosing. You could become involved with a church group, join a committee, start a business, learn a new skill, support youth activities/sports, contribute to a campaign, or help out with a community project. The possibilities are almost unlimited.

It’s not hard— just find something you believe in and get involved. Do your research. Get to know the people who are already involved and learn how to join them. Consider this your invitation to become one of the people who get things done in this town.

I would really like to thank all the local residents who are behind the many great things happening in Okmulgee. Let’s make 2017 our best year ever! Please share more of your questions with me at osuit-president@okstate.edu.