Several years ago, I bought and read a book titled “The Morningside of the Blue Ridge,” and got to be thinking about that idea . . . the sun shining on our wonderful Rappahannock County and our inhabitants in this special place.
Figuratively, I thought about that morning sun being a light of truth shining down on the vast expanses of land here, into the varied nooks and crannies within the gentle mountain slopes. Then I also started to think about the possibilities of some dwelling in a few of the darkest hollows, where that light of truth somehow does not reach.
These few, yet very vocal, residents seem to live in their own land of absolutes, of ‘watch out, Chicken Little, the sky is falling,’ of beware, there is quicksand all around where we all are doomed to sink into unless (fill in the blank), of All Must Benefit or else we must not have (whatever ).
Let’s put this last, in particular, in a proper perspective.
Think about our public schools here, supported by our tax dollars. Do all living here benefit? Do all living here have children, grandchildren, attending? Why have some stated that they do not want more students in our schools, ‘because our taxes would increase’?
That type of statement seems to acknowledge that not all would be benefiting from any growth in our schools. And, by the way, how shortsighted is that line of thinking?
The students in our schools are our future, the linchpin of our social fabric if we want to continue in our quest for ongoing viability as a community. Finding a way to enhance our students’ learning, which is an actuality in place now for any familiar with the various excellent programs there, is one important responsibility of citizens to support, whether some, or any, have students there.
So, in this example, all do not immediately benefit, yet our taxes do support that institution. One can think of that portion of our taxes that go there as an investment in our future, even though it does indeed require additional methods to strengthen its effects, like better cell/internet coverage.
It’s complex, yet I think most residents are up to this task as they have met and resolved many challenges through the years, as illustrated in the recent Rappahannock News series of our economic history.
So, the next time you hear someone say that all must benefit immediately from something like our schools or another project, think about how that Morningside of the Blue Ridge sun might beam the light of truth into wherever those dark hollows of the absolutes exist and figure out a way to perhaps discover actual facts that might aid in productive solutions to benefit perhaps not all, but as many as possible, as an investment in our future.
The writer lives in Washington