Q&A - May 12, 2017

In this world, there are people who make things happen, people who watch things happen, and people who wonder what happened. We have all three types of people in Okmulgee. There are people who are actively involved in efforts to improve our community. We also have people who are sitting on the sidelines, just waiting to see if something good will happen to our town. And there are those who are listening to the naysayers and still can’t believe Okmulgee will ever amount to much of anything.

This week, with my 100th column submission, I have selected a question that will allow me to highlight how we are all involved with lighting the path ahead.

Q:I can’t afford to buy or renovate a building in downtown Okmulgee, so how else can I play a part in Okmulgee Rising?

Okmulgee Rising is not just about renovating historic buildings; it’s about improving a community, recovering hometown pride, and repairing a tarnished reputation. Okmulgee Rising is not just an abstract concept certain people write about in the newspaper. It’s a real movement that anyone and everyone in this town can advance. It’s about reclaiming our community from the grasp of despair through the cumulative affirmative actions of many civic-minded individuals. Yes, Okmulgee rises every time a new job is created and every time a new family moves to town, but it’s even more basic than that…allow me to expound:

  • Okmulgee rises every time a neighbor offers a helping hand to a neighbor.
  • Okmulgee rises every time a visitor is greeted with small town hospitality and kindness.
  • Okmulgee rises every time its citizens join arms in common purpose and every time they contribute to a worthy cause.
  • Okmulgee rises every time a positive impression of the town is shared and every time a nasty rumor is dispelled.
  • Okmulgee rises every time volunteers pitch in and every time its civic organizations engage.
  • Okmulgee rises every time its citizens assemble in harmony and every time its churches pray for unity.
  • Okmulgee rises every time its schools are endorsed and every time its young people are given opportunities to aspire.
  • Okmulgee rises every time its civil servants are treated with respect and every time its diverse population is valued.
  • Okmulgee rises every time you and I do what we can to support a local organization or business and every time we help spread the word about advancements in our little town.

Don’t just sit around and watch things happen in Okmulgee; help make great things happen! As things improve in this town, don’t be one of the people wondering what happened. Be part of the positive and exciting changes that are occurring all around us right now. Lighting the path ahead is not just my job, it is our job. We are all ambassadors for Okmulgee. Every one of us should be looking for ways to turn obstacles into advantages, our words into actions, and our dreams into reality. Working together, we will find the solutions that have alluded us in the past.

Please direct your questions and comments about Okmulgee Rising to osuit-president@okstate.edu.