Want to help make some stone soup?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Tribune editorial staff

Economic development, it seems, is sometimes like a big pot of stone soup. Certainly you know the story of stone soup. If not, here's a quick recap:

A peddler traveling through a famine stricken town in post-war Europe begins to create a meal for a doubting village. He fills an iron cauldron with water, starts a fire and then ceremoniously pulls an ordinary stone from a velvet bag and drops the stone into the water.

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One by one the villagers come by and begin savoring the taste of the yet to be finished soup. Each one manages to find something to add: cabbage, beef, potatoes, onions, carrots, mushrooms and so on.

Eventually, by working together and pooling their resources, the villagers created a meal for everyone, even when by themselves they believed the task an impossible one.

The moral is quite simple: working together, with everyone contributing what they can, a greater good is achieved.

The lesson is also applicable to creating economic development. One person, one agency or one small group, cannot manage to accomplish what an entire community of people can.

In recent weeks, two bits of news have come to the forefront that shows our "official" economic development leaders are working on bringing new jobs to the county. Ironton city leaders are working on a deal to bring a new company to town. The new company would also be the newest tenant to the city's industrial park, too.

County officials have created an incentive package to help a West Virginia company expand into The Point industrial park. Both projects appear to be good prospects and we hope both come to fruition.

But as citizens who live and work here, we should each ask ourselves: what have we contributed to the economic development stone soup?

One doesn't have to be an economic leader to do good economic work. Just ask the Friends of Ironton. They are the latest in a number of civic organizations that work to give back to the community. If you want to help, get involved and give back.