Everyone can be stubborn and or ignorant. Many things can cause us to behave stubbornly. Being ignorant about something does not imply stupidity, but simply a lack of knowledge. I am totally ignorant about car maintenance, beyond checking fluids and tire pressure. Ignorance is a deficit that can be filled with information and education, but you have to want it.
What happens if you are ignorant on an important matter, and your feelings of insecurity make you defensive about it and even paranoid? You may find yourself stubbornly defending your own ignorance, refusing to grow in knowledge, settling for a lesser position in life simply as a matter of pride.
Refusing to admit there is something you don’t know, and perhaps even boasting that you don’t need to know what you know you should know, only magnifies your ignorance, making the situation even worse. I cannot think of a more helpless, self-inflicted way to lose in life, than to be stubbornly ignorant. For expediency in these fast paced times, let’s just go with “SI” for short. Albany is a SI place to live these days.
We suffer from this more than we should, and it seems like recently it’s only grown worse. Many of our young people have come to believe that their lack of an education and a good job is the fault of someone else, and the system is stacked against them, so why bother? Many of us have a hard time seeing a better future for ourselves, so we lower our goals to simply living for the weekend, when we know deep down that is not the best course to take.
Those that serve the community in local government, and on various boards, seem to be more inclined to take the SI approach and dig in their heels with positions that fly in the face of common sense. They very rarely admit to a mistake, a shortcoming in experience, or a lack of knowledge on legal and proper procedures. Left unchecked, the SI leadership of Albany will continue to make foolish, short-sighted, politically correct but poor decisions that only serve to lower the standards, and drive away more and more people that want something better from the place they call home.
The most recent example of SI leadership is the ridiculous “finalist” list for Dougherty County School System Superintendent position being vacated by Dr. Sally Whatley. If there is only one name on the list, why is he, Dr. Joshua Murfree, even referred to as a finalist? It’s silly, and it makes Albany look more like Hooterville than the hub of Southwest Georgia that it is.
Those members of the Dougherty County School Board that voted for Dr. Murfree as the only “finalist”(two did not) should be ashamed of their action. It reeks of favoritism, particularly to select someone that was so poorly ranked under the search criteria. It shows our school board as a collection of folks that need to go back to school themselves before they start trying to make decisions about our children’s education.
Another issue of late has been the controversy over the multi-million dollar transit facility being pushed and pushed hard by City Manager Al Lott. If the concerns raised over this project by the local media and citizens are unfounded as Lott says, then why did the federal government, that has no problem wastefully spending money it does not have, pull the plug on the project? Is Lott saying the federal government is wrong, too? If there is any SI mixed in with this problem, it is coming from the city manager’s office. They have mastered the art of defending foolish positions and still keeping their jobs.
I’m sure these leaders of our community will continue to take the SI stand, and keep doing what they do, fully expecting the hard working people of Albany, too busy just trying to pay the bills, to give this more that a passing complaint. Maybe not. Just maybe the days of SI governance is seeing it’s end in Albany.
Old ways of doing business could find themselves up against the new media and a more informed public. It will still take action on the part of the citizens to stop the SI express from running away with our future, but knowledge is power. We just have to use it.
Written by Lon McNeil. Mr. McNeil is an Albany independent marketing consultant. Find him online at AlbanyOnPoint.