Exercising Community

It’s time for New Year’s resolutions. Since I celebrated my daughter Kate’s half marathon finish in Savannah last November, my dream (vision) has been to compete along side her in the 2016 New York City Marathon. In order to successfully do so, it will be essential for us to prepare, to plan and to train, that is, to exercise with precision and purpose.

Yes, before one embarks upon a dream of this substance, a certain course of action is vital. And this should sound familiar to you…. Before initiating any diet and/or exercise routine, consult your physician or in other words, assess your condition. One must strategically communicate the goal to others in an effort to establish accountability, receive much needed encouragement, or, in the instance of my daughter, ensure that she shares the goal. Without her commitment and participation, the dream is forever just that…. a dream. Together, she and I will enumerate the “knowns” and identify the unknowns and variables in order to design a plan for realizing the dream. It will be paramount for us to regularly review and make note of our progress so that we may make adjustments necessary to accomplish our goal along the way.

Alternatively, I could surprise her as I hand her a race bib on a crowded New York street corner on Sunday, November 6, 2016…. Race Day! Now, recall the medieval French proverb, “Rome was not built in a day”. I smiled as I read a favorite finish to this aphorism penned by an unknown author, “…but it burned in one.”

My second resolution for 2016 is indeed to get all of our Islanders exercising. By this I mean the exercise of your rights as citizens. Some of you began this regimen with me a year ago. During 2015, you may have noticed the creation of several citizen-based committees dedicated to furthering the interests of our community by resolving issues and pursuing opportunities including the Circle-to-Circle Committee, the Arts and Cultural Strategic Planning Committee, and the Heritage Tourism Taskforce.

In 2016, with the support of Town Council, we need your talents to populate committees responsible for fostering future plans for the Visioning process, stimulating interest in the production of quality Affordable Housing and advancing efforts to explore possibilities for a Performing Arts Venue. This is strenuous exercise, but the goals are noble: to know and understand the dreams and visions of our Island community and to propel them to their potential.

In the book, Manners Matter, author Hermine Hartley states, “Community interests affect us all…. It’s important to apply the Golden Rule in our communities as well as our homes. Just as healthy bodies need exercise, a healthy community needs citizens who exercise their citizenship. It needs citizens who have eyes to see a need, ears to hear a call for help, feet to rush to help and hands to fill the need.” Happy New Year! May we each resolve to be the eyes, ears, hands and feet of Hilton Head Island.

See you at the finish line!

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