There is an epidemic in our country which has also infected our communities throughout the country.
Once upon a time the word was overused and became trite. I get it; but it’s something we are definitely lacking and seems to have fallen by the wayside.
I am talking about professionalism. It apparently went the way of common sense, good manners and wisdom.
I guess society has deemed that it is no longer necessary. I beg to differ. It makes all the difference in the world.
Professionalism governs how you treat people, how you respond to criticism; how you interact with other people you come in contact with regularly.
Having professionalism means you do the right thing, admit when you have made a mistake and try to make things right when possible. It also means knowing when to open your mouth and when it is better to just listen. A professional treats people with respect, regardless of the business you are in or who you are dealing with at the time.
Having manners and being courteous never go out of style. Professionalism means you treat people how you want to be treated and understand when situations change.
You never know how what you say, do or how you act might affect someone. Sometimes it has lasting effects that they never forget.
Being nice doesn’t cost anything. Neither does taking other people into consideration.
It’s not just people that are unprofessional these days, it is elected bodies as well. They can be rude to people in attendance who have legitimate complaints.
An elected official should display an even higher level of professionalism than the average citizen. And they should be accountable to those who elected them.
The Crawford County Board of Education is one who doesn’t seem to take anyone else into consideration. Most boards hold executive sessions at the end of their meetings so people in attendance don’t have to wait the whole time. Recently, the board held a meeting and then immediately went into executive session, not to resume regular meeting until hours later. That means members of the press or others in attendance had to wait. That is just unprofessional.
At the most recent meeting, they almost didn’t have enough board members present for a quorum to even hold a meeting. At this particular meeting they were to vote on the upcoming budget. While we know that things come up from time to time, if they knew the whole board could not attend, it would have made more sense to reschedule the meeting when there is something as important as the budget on the agenda. The new school board budget passed with a 2-1 vote with Lee Sanders voting against. As a taxpayer, are you confident about a budget that was passed by only two people on the school board?
To top it off, the candidate for school superintendent was in attendance. I don’t know if they knew in advance that he would be attending, but if they did, that makes this meeting even worse. It sure doesn’t show much support for a new superintendent or set a good example.
And as food for thought: What does it say about a school system if the elected school board members send their children to private school?
Someone informed me this week that another elected official was going into a local business and making a spectacle of themselves by getting a drink, not paying for it because something is supposedly wrong with it, and making snide comments. All this because an employee they liked no longer works there. Really?
An elected official should be supporting business, not trashing it. If there is a problem, it needs to be addressed but in the correct, professional manner. What is wrong with these people? So, you want this business to close which means you won’t get sales tax money from it, which helps the local tax base. It just doesn’t make good sense.
Personally, I was raised differently. And while I have chosen not to run for a public office even after being asked to do so, I do vote and have a voice.
As people, we are all connected. We are a team of sorts and it takes the whole team to get things accomplished. We have families, bills to pay and we all go through things. Everyone should be treated with respect as a first response.
When are people going to wake up and not accept mediocrity, unprofessionalism and lack of manners? I keep praying and hoping that one day I will wake up and things will be changing for the positive.
While we may not be able to impact the world, we can impact our corner of the world, and we need to start doing that with compassion, love and respect for our fellow humans. And we should refuse to accept anything less.
VICTORIA SIMMONS is an author, columnist, motivational speaker, minister and publisher of The Georgia Post/Byron Buzz. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org