It's been a difficult time for communications. Compound that with the inability to meet face to face, the deluge of social media that comes the way of all of us day after day and how we've all seemed to become the authority on what we know is true. We too have been flooded with information that none of us ever even imagined we'd see. From the oppressive COVID messaging we hear over and over to the paid for battle from both sides and outside influences over politics the pandemic has left us all a captive audience, some of us yelling to be heard and most of us feeling that no one is listening. It's just where we are at the moment.
Well, we're starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. We hope. We too seem to be experiencing a little less pressure on all of us from things like opinion, conjecture, what's real and what's not. We are approaching a time, hopefully where healing can begin on a multitude of levels from the virus we can't see that's effecting us all to the words and actions we can see that have equally made this time of isolation so incredibly hard. Silence is golden in some cases, but if any lesson is to be taken away from 2020 it's how delicate the balance is from the necessity to be heard and what comes of the inability to use the normal channels of communication we do when we need to be heard.
When people don't feel they are being heard, along comes the speculation. Rightfully so in some cases. Some don't trust to begin with, others see a mistake and try to capitalize while others just like to stir the pot and see what the chaos brings. We've seen it on every level, from local to national and on almost every subject especially government. Governments have been forced to switch to the world of Zoom meetings like almost everyone else, and while it's an acceptable platform to get the job done, a lot of the nuance is lost and with that comes the beginnings of all that we've talked about. Who said what? What are they really up to? Why are they not taking care of what concerns ME? All very legitimate questions and all being handled differently pretty much everywhere.
In our area, local municipalities are working to better understand how to effectively communicate with their citizens and we're also in no fairy tale land of people who question. So, what's the approach? Well, the City of Muskegon is just flat out asking it's stake holders what can it do better? There are certain areas of concern that are being addressed for sure, things like social justice, affordable housing and our youth are some of the primary concerns being asked by the City and Commissioners. But, if you take a look at the entire questionnaire, you'll see it goes a little further. What are your wishes? What are your values? What are the steps you'd take to get there? How can YOU be a part of the solution as opposed to the endless swirl of argument and discord? That's what the City is asking and currently gathering information about.
LeighAnn Mikesell is the Director of Development Services and she's taken a few minutes of her day today to better explain what's being sought, how you can participate and help you understand too that this lack of communication in the digital age is not easy for a local municipality to manage either, they are working for the best, and working with the resources they have. Take a listen.
Yup. We've all been running around in the dark a little. What we've seen and heard has been overwhelming. Some of what we haven't seen and heard...the silence seems deafening. Some of how it's all been spun to fit one agenda or another....well, that's taken it's toll and like anything in governance, no one is going to be 100% happy all of the time. It's a two way street to work with our local government officials and a few minutes with a survey won't kill anyone. It's also a time to think about that healing. That willingness to rebuild some trust and build together going forward. It's been an almost unspeakable time, but from it should come some understanding of how to do things better and how we can all have a voice. If you'd like to visit the City of Muskegon online, click on the image below.