This article is an update on one I wrote in 2014. Unfortunately the same circumstances still exist.
My observations are that people can be categorized into three distinct groups: the Workers, the Lookers, and the Shirkers.
In the case of Workers, these are the people who are always involved when something needs to be done. They commit themselves to the task and they are the ones that can always be counted upon to help.
The Lookers, on the other hand, are those people who are not really sure they want to get involved. They stand to the side and observe what is happening but are not ready to volunteer at this time to really help those workers involved with trying to make things work. As long as someone else does it, they are happy.
The Shirkers flat out don’t want anything to do with what is going on. They see the Workers and the Lookers, but they just want to do their own thing and not be involved. They are the ones you see slinking off into the sunset when someone asks for help.
So how does this apply in an article written about Rockwall County, Texas?
Let me be more specific. Early in March of this year the primary election was held in our county where county, state and federal candidates were selected to run in the general election this November. In our county, at that time, there were 65,600 registered voters. These were people who had taken the time to fill out the registration forms so they can vote in the various elections held. In this election, 18,602 people actually voted, or 28.3% of the eligible voters.
These voters are the same ones who volunteer to be on the Home Owners Association Board of Directors who spend their evening once or twice a month volunteering to make it better for all in the neighborhood. They are the ones who run for school board and city councils. They volunteer to help at the library and to deliver Meals on Wheels. They belong to the various civic groups and they are the ones you always see at community events.
The other 46,998 who elected to not vote can be placed in the category of the Lookers: they are interested enough to want to vote but not necessarily interested enough to actually make the effort to go to the voting place to cast their ballot. They may have an opinion on who they would vote for if they got to the polls, but are not strong enough in their opinion to make the necessary effort. Maybe one of these days these voters will switch from Lookers to voters, but it will take a conscious effort.
Now the Shirkers are the interesting group in this example. These are the people who sit around complaining about everything and everyone. In their opinion no one is worth voting for, all people running for office are a “bunch of crooks,” and they are basically not happy about anything and want to make no effort to try and make things better. Will you ever see these people trying to be part of the Workers? Not unless they change their attitude and join the human race.
The point of this article. We all have the ability and the talent to contribute to make things better where we live. We are a fast growing county that continues to have an influx of new citizens. How these people are taught about our community is up to all of us. Do we want a community of Workers or will we be content to have a group of Lookers, and even worse, a group of Shirkers that do nothing but try to tear down what all the others are doing?
We are now facing a national election in a little over a week. Decisions we make now will impact us directly at the county and state level and our votes will help determine who leads our country for the next four years. It really is worth the effort to go out and vote!
Jerry Hogan is a former Rockwall County judge. He can be reached at 214-394-4033.