News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

March 15, 2006

Pete Chalos: City’s leaders, citizens must be willing to support progress

We live in an extremely competitive society. From early childhood, we are taught the difference between winning and losing. In some families, more time is spent learning the difference between winning and losing than the difference between right and wrong.

The spirit of competition is in many ways a wonderful thing. It can teach us to strive to be our best, to set ambitious goals and to develop a strong work ethic. We learn that there is a price for achievement. We learn that success comes only after an investment of time and hard work.

The spirit of competition can also bring about negatives in a society. Some men and women lose a few times and learn to live in a spirit of defeat. Some learn to cheat. Some become bitter and jealous to the point that they undercut the goals and accomplishments of those around them. A spirit of rivalry can sometimes spur great achievement but other times destroy families, projects or the future of entire cities when people refuse to work together for the common good due to their personal agendas.

Instead of worrying about which new business or company is going to get a tax incentive, our community should be supporting the city in all of its efforts to develop economic districts that will create opportunities and spur growth. The more successful companies we have in town, the more jobs are created. More employed workers means more paying customers and more taxpaying citizens. That, in turn, benefits every existing business and the community as a whole. When one local company experiences success, the entire community benefits from that success.

Working against a project that could bring a lot of progress into our community as a whole simply because it might benefit the other political party, a political rival, a business rival or someone we see as being too successful already is counterproductive and abhorrent. Depriving our neighbors of jobs and depriving their children of winter coats and lunch money just so them Democrats or them Republicans won’t end up winning the next election is something that should keep a person awake at night writhing with guilt.

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