Somebody Should Do Something About That!

The Write Stuff – Deb Hadachek

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job.

Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.

That’s an old familiar story, but one worth clipping out of the paper and revisiting often. A yellowed copy pinned up decades ago hangs on the bulletin board at church.

I am reminded of it whenever Somebody wants to rant to me about all the things Nobody is doing in our county or communities.

A wider variety of restaurants and businesses would be great. There are several fully equipped buildings ready and waiting for Anybody to make that happen.

Everybody likes to go to the fair, the races, the movies, bowling, skeet shooting, rodeos, dancing, sports bars or any other kind of entertainment option you can imagine.

Nobody–but a handful of people with imagination and work ethic–wants to volunteer or invest their savings to make them happen. Everybody wants to run a business. Nobody really wants the headaches.

Somebody needs to build roads, houses, water systems and recruit new businesses.

Nobody wants to pay more taxes needed to fund those projects.

Somebody should write a grant. Anybody can do that, but Nobody has the time.

All it takes is for Everybody to realize they are Somebody, and step up. But Everybody prefers to sit back and complain that Nobody ever does anything. Nobody wants to work, I keep hearing.

But most jobs in most businesses are not something that just Anybody can do.

What does Somebody need to do to make jobs in rural areas seem attainable and attractive to a new generation of workers?

Nobody wants to work for cheap. But Everybody wants low, low prices.

Among the tributes to General Colin Powell, who died of Covid-19 complications on Monday, was his 13 rules:

  1. It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning.
  2. Get mad, then get over it.
  3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it.
  4. It can be done.
  5. Be careful what you choose.
  6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision.
  7. You can’t make someone else’s choices.
  8. Check small things.
  9. Share credit.
  10. Remain calm. Be kind.
  11. Have a vision.
  12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers.
  13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.

I would have voted for Colin Powell for President. He is among that rare breed of people rapidly facing extinction who seemed to understand the meaning of the phrase “public servant”.

Sometimes voters overlook “off year” elections as not very important. “Just” school board members or “only” city council members. No “good” races.

Yet, as I voted my advanced ballot Monday at Republic County Courthouse, I thought about the school board members I’ve come to know from the other side of the table.

Incumbents like Chris Pachta and Brian McCartney in 109 and Troy Isaacson and Troy Carlgren and Kelly Flavin in 426 who have all spent several terms on their respective boards. I see them during long, late evenings, when they often come straight from the fields or worked long days at their own jobs. They still sit and talk for hours about big vision subjects like bond issues or personnel problems or best practices to keep other peoples’ kids safe when they probably would like to go home and put their feet up and flip on the TV with their own kids like almost Everbody else does in the evening.

They know what it’s like to have their ego tied to a particular issue. They more often than not remain calm and kind when I know they probably don’t feel like it. They deal endlessly with naysayers and adverse facts that stand in the way of a good decision.

They often believe “it”–whatever “it” is–can be done when others aren’t so sure.

So take time to cast a ballot between now and November 2. If nothing else, it serves as a vote of confidence and a “thank you” for their terms of public service.

And if Anybody thinks they can do a better job–write in Somebody else’s name.