Monday, May 2, 2011

Focusing on priorities

Currently, my town is determining which of two priorities should be funded (like many communities, we don't enjoy limitless funds, so we chose to concentrate resources.)

The choices:
1) building a library
2) building a retirement home

To some people these might seem like random spending opportunities, but to me they represent competing philosophies about the future. So I've attached relevant defining slogans to the projects to represent the community:

"Farmington is preparing for a bright future"

                 - or -

"Farmington: a great place to die"

Senior citizens deserve our support and resources. They deserve our love. If we don't support them, we won't be supported when our turn comes around, and knowing that may make us less motivated to support our community now. A senior home here would make it easier for locals to visit their ailing parents, so resolve an inconvenience.

But the first option, the library, builds the community's productive capacity. It makes the community into a place people want to live in, so they will stay near their ailing parents instead of moving to where the jobs are. A
nd it increases the likelihood of innovation. The retirement home option, but contrast, manages symptoms. Surgery vs. bandage. Vitamins vs. medication. 

And because Nauvoo, to me, represents any community that wants to move forward, I share the dilemma as a microcosm. Are you spending community coffers to make people comfortable, or to develop a better future?

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