Editorial/Op

Perspective

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Submitted by J.R. Dalton
I often speak about how personal perspectives determine the kind of interactions we have with
one another, affecting seemingly ordinary things like how we drive, the way we treat others in the
checkout lane at Walmart, and even our finances and how we maintain or squander them. In a
community like ours it’s important to develop the people skills, mindsets, and attitudes it takes to
mingle with others on a more than weekly basis. In Baton Rouge there are so many people that you get
lost in the crowd at times, so that you may never see again the person you just cut off in the turning
lane. Here in Central you may see that person 3 more times before the week is over and even then once
more at work or church.
 
Take, for example, the three most prominent merging lanes we have in our city: Sullivan as it
narrows after Wax; Wax once you’ve passed Wally World; and Hooper when it changes from 4 lanes to
2. I’ve only lived in Central for a few years, but it didn’t take me long to realize that unless you have a
V8 under the hood, you have no power over who will get past the intersection first. A week ago I saw a
girl get run off the road near the light at Lovett when the person behind her decided that his time was
more valuable than her life. She made her way back off the slanted shoulder carefully, no doubt shaken.
 
In another example, when Katia rolled through, local media had us running for cover, expecting
the storm to devastate and destroy. Even with gas prices in Central up nearly 10%, people bombarded
the pumps and ran them dry in a rush of anxiety, understandably wanting to be prepared and ready for
the next big storm. Inside Walmart, others rushed down aisles grabbing loaves of bread like they had
gotten the last Snuggie from the shelf on Black Friday, knocking over boxes of Chex Mix as they elbowed
down a fellow customer.
 
In a more positive light, I’ve watched as local banks, businesses, and community groups have
come together over and over again to demonstrate benevolence in a way I never saw growing up in
Baton Rouge. Community leaders have donated time, service, and money to charitable causes such as
the Susan G. Komen Group, The OLOL Children’s Hospital Fundraiser, and our very own Cooking in
Central. The Bible says that, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”* I believe that Central
knows what being a part of a family community means and if we can stay focused on the vision our
leaders have for this city, we will continue to see our town flourish.
 
There are 26,000+ people in just our city and within our reach. Our behavior, whether kind or
unkind, just or unwarranted, can affect those in surrounding parishes, and the actions of others can
either lift up or pull down the standard of love and caring that has been so prevalent in this city for
years. So for this next month leading up to Thanksgiving, let us maintain the vision and make it our
mission to show love to our neighbors and fellow Centralites. You never know how many times you’ll
see them this week, on the road, at the store, or at church.

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