According to legend, when signing the Declaration of Independence, John Hancock signed his name larger that the other so that King George of Great Britain could read it without his spectacles. His signature became so famous that it is almost synonymous with the word “signature.”
What seemed like a very “confrontational” move, was not proven by his subsequent actions during and following the Revolutionary War as Governor of Massachusetts. According to Wikipedia, Hancock took a hands-off approach to governing, avoiding controversial issues as much as possible. According to William Fowler, Hancock “never really led” and “never used his strength to deal with the critical issues confronting the commonwealth.”
The story of the signature actually surfaced years after he signed the Declaration.
Conflict always precedes change. The reason status quo exists is the reluctance of people to become “uncomfortable.” The law of inertia about an object staying at rest until affected by an outside force is not just for physical objects.
Compared to the confrontation and conflict involved being an active agent for change, the acts of posting on Facebook, lamenting in friendly circles, or signing a declaration seem easy. Agents for changed are almost always deemed as “outsiders,” crackpots,” or “dreamers.”
Over the past several months, I have personally witnessed the conflict involving the desire to change — everything from my personal business to the community I love. As someone who isn’t confrontational by nature, the conflict that has taken place is not even in the same zip code as my comfort zone.
All of us must face the fact that conflict is a part of life, and that people no longer play fair in their battles. However, true agents of change should realize the long-term mission should outweigh the short-term discomfort.
Agents of change face two different types of opposition:
• Those that actively oppose the efforts to break status quo. They may do it out in the open, or behind closed doors.
• Those that believe in the mission of change, but claim it can’t be done.
The agent of change cannot hide from either group, but must have the intestinal fortitude to stay the course, and take the hits. If all goes well, history will paint a better picture of this person and his or her efforts — at least that is the hope.
So what does this have to do with our community? I think the answer is pretty obvious.
Minden (and Webster Parish) is a community in desperate need of change. Those that review the pertinent data are in agreement of that opinion.
Inside and outside of government, there are “agents of change” fighting an uphill battle. They are often viewed as “Don Quixote,” battling windmills and getting nowhere. Somedays, the sentiment probably feels pretty accurate.
The mission of change in our community must outweigh these sentiments and obstacles. While giant leaps may not happen for quite some time, small steps are still victories. I want to encourage my fellow change agents to continue to fight the fight, keep the faith, and move forward.
While giant leaps may not happen for quite some time, small steps are still victories. I want to encourage my fellow change agents to continue to fight the fight, keep the faith, and move forward.
With every conflict, there comes a “turning point.” I personally believe we are approaching ours as a community, We may be one vote, one day, or one signature away from a better future for our families, our economy, and our community.
David Specht is president of Specht Newspapers, Inc. He may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.