The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 13, 2013

Be a good citizen in 2013


DANVILLE — The beginning of a new year brings with it the potential to make improvements in our lives. That’s what New Year’s resolutions are all about.

Lots of us pledge to lose weight. We promise to quit smoking or some other unhealthy habit. We plan to learn more, to develop new skills.

All stand as worthy goals. But there’s one goal everyone should try to reach during the months ahead in 2013: Be a better citizen.

Being a good citizen means much more than showing up for work every day, paying your taxes and staying within the law.

Real citizenship requires involvement. It demands commitment. It forces us to look outside ourselves, to consider other points of view and to work for the common good of the community.

We could take the easy course. We could sit back and complain about everything, never stepping forward to make an effort toward a solution.

The recent announcement of job fairs by Kohl’s as it prepares to open its new Danville store provides an example.

The store wants to hire more than 100 people. In these economic times, that’s a significant number. And the promise of more store openings during the year will mean even more job opportunities.

Yet there are those in the community who, instead of celebrating the chance for people to land a job, would rather complain the openings are not “factory jobs.” Well, it’s not 1965 anymore. Not many communities have the number of quality manufacturing jobs Vermilion County already offers. In fact, there are local factory jobs open without anyone qualified to fill them.

Complaints accomplish little. Pledge to be a better citizen this year. Attend public meetings. Volunteer with local organizations. Become informed about the issues in the community rather than simply repeating the misinformation heard at the coffee shop.

If more of us will do those things, and Vermilion County should expect a great 2013 ahead.