‘Weeds’ will choke true growth for our region
Warning: This is bound to be a little controversial. But you won’t be able to say that it isn’t true.
What is Lawrence County’s most prevalent natural resource? Is it coal or iron ore, or maybe timber, natural gas or oil?
That was the case a little over 100 years ago, but not anymore.
Today, our greatest natural resource is an abundance of something totally different. You can find it throughout the county without even digging or reaching for your ax.
This resource is the fuel that feeds our fire and keeps rewarding us with ashes.
What is it?
Weeds crowd out or restrict light to more desirable plants, stealing essential nutrients from the soil. They carry pathogens that substantially threaten the lives of entire crops.
Some even have thorns, whose sole purpose is to cut and injure.
Like a chronic case of botanical cancer, these intruders attempt to appear as though they belong among the mainstream plants; but their main goal is destruction.
Look around the Lawrence County area, especially in the county seat of Ironton. Now, tell me what you see.
I can tell you what I see: backstabbing, bitterness, political maneuvering for personal gain, gossip, and hatred, to name a few things.
Oh, and a whole bunch of people who constantly complain but do absolutely nothing to change anything.
We can fill Tanks Memorial Stadium on any given fall night to collectively support the Fighting Tigers, which, by the way, is our only claim to fame. Take away our football team and what do we have to be proud of?
Outside of the Tigers, how are we known throughout the state and across the Kentucky and West Virginia borders?
How many of those people come here to work?
Isn’t a community a team? Don’t teams work together, especially against stiff competition, to overcome the odds and nail down a victory?
Sadly, we are our own competition. We fight so much amongst ourselves that even those with genuine motives to improve our plight eventually throw their hands up in disgust and turn in their uniforms.
It’s time to stop blaming our elected leaders and playing fifth grade “he said/she said” games via gossip and the Internet. More importantly, it’s time for personal accountability.
It’s time that every individual took it upon themselves to make a positive difference is this community.
Would any business in its right mind locate here amid all of this turmoil and negativity? Are we wishing on a star, hoping for a Fortune 500 corporation to drive by and say, “Hey, this looks like a nice place to do business,” without first doing their homework and studying the local political climate and work force?
Of course not!
But instead of facing our greatest problems, stubbornness, laziness and poisoned political propaganda, and working together as one unit, we continue to walk down a trail that leads to nowhere … a path filled with weeds.
What kind of message are we sending to our children? Where are they going to live once they grow up?
As it stands now, it’s a good bet that they won’t live here.
But I’m sure we’ll find somebody else to blame for that, too.
Billy Bruce is a freelance writer who lives in Pedro. He can be contacted at email@example.com.