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Economic Development is . . . (increasing the flow) of capital through the community and reducing its leakage.

Shake it off and step it up

I first read this story a couple of years ago and it perfectly described a situation that I was in with a company I had started.  I think it also applies to our current economic situation here in Tama County.

So, what’s the story? Once upon a time, there was a donkey. It was a stubborn old donkey and even the farmer who owned it didn’t like him. The farmer owned a large property and one day he heard in the distance the loud cry of the donkey.  He wondered what the donkey had done now, so he looked all over his property until at last, he found the animal at the bottom of an old abandoned well.

Exasperated, the farmer rang his neighbors and asked them each to bring a shovel.  He’d had enough of the stupid donkey, so he had decided to bury it in the well. All of his friends came over and together they started to shovel dirt into the well.  At first, the donkey protested loudly, braying with all of his might, but after about 10 minutes, he stopped. The farmers kept shoveling. After a while, someone decided to have a look into the well to see what had happened to the donkey.  What he saw astonished him. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and trotted off.

It is inevitable life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting “out of the well” is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a stepping stone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step upward!

How do we shake the down economy off and step it up? That question has come up at several city council meetings that I have attended. Talking the talk will only take you so far. At some point, you have to start walkin’ it — or as my father-in-law says, “You gotta fish or cut bait.”

Some of the comments I have heard got me thinking “Are people over-complicating the transition from talking to doing?” Many times, all you need to do is show up. Get involved in your town’s government. Tama County’s local towns are operated by a network of hard working volunteers.  They commit countless hours to tackle everything from recycling to economic development to arts & culture. These are often very important elements of community living that don’t always get the time and attention they need from the general public. Don’t think you’re qualified? Your passion for an issue can often offset any direct experience you might not have. Take Action: Visit our site www.tamacountyiowa.org and search our calendar for the date and time of you town’s council meeting.  If you can’t find it, call our office 641-484-3108 and we will show you where you can get involved.  You can also friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Together we can shake it off and step it up!

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