When was the last time you did something that made you so nervous your stomach was tied up into one giant knot? When was the last time that you did something even though it scared you? When was the last time that you knew you wanted to do something even though you knew that pain wasn’t only a chance, it was a guarantee? As I write this, I can’t think of the last time that I did something that met all of those circumstances.
However, on Black Friday I witnessed my daughter do something that did meet all these circumstances. After lunch on Friday, Sadie entered a store in Towne East mall in Wichita and she got her ears pierced.
She had been mentally preparing herself for this event for a few years now. She knew there was pain involved because we had been honest with her and just for good measure, she checked with her friends who had first hand experience (never mind the fact that both her parents had their ears pierced during the course of their lives). She had finally come to the point where the pain was worth the experience of enjoying another way to accessorize with her outfits.
I know is seems relatively juvenile and simplistic to write about ear piercing, but as Sadie sat in that chair in Icings by Claire in the mall and she clutched my arm in a death grip, I was aware of two things every Dad should experience. I realized my daughter was taking another step forward in life, and I was proud of her for making a choice that she knew would not be easy, but would be worth it.
As adults, I think we get too safe. We spend so much time protecting ourselves from pain that we fail to take risks that ultimately could make our lives and the lives of others much better. Marion is at a crucial point in our history. Is it the point of no return? Absolutely not. However, it is time for us to start making Marion a place our college graduates can return to. It is time for us to start making Marion a place that takes advantage of our proximity to a federal reservoir and county lake. It is time for us to start making Marion a place that realizes access to Highways 77 and 56 as an advantage for the future of our town. It is time for us to start making Marion a place where housing prices are not stagnant or decreasing. It is time for us to start making Marion a place where free and reduced lunches in the schools is not an annually increasing amount.
This will take a concerted effort by those in our community with the resources to do so. We cannot wait for the city council to do this for us. If you have the resources to bring a small business in, it’s time to do so. Is there pain involved in investing in your own community? Yes. Is it possible that the pain will be worth it? A resounding yes! We as a community need to move forward and make choices that will not be easy, but will be worth it. It’s time for Marion to start becoming a community that has more than a present, it’s time for us to have a future.