Column: Be humble and strive to learn, but also share your knowledge

What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Simple enough question with so many answers. Before we drift down a path about this thought, how about some updates from the week.

Recently, I was asked to be a judge for the Smalltown Star talent show. I realized within seconds that we have tons of talent in our area and that would not be an easy contest to judge. I quickly declined the invite and offered my services to be the emcee instead.

Luckily, they said yes and I got to be a part of what I hope turns out to be an annual event for our youth. Leadership Jackson County art team, I want to thank you all for such a fun event, and keep up the good work.

The process related to annexation takes many steps. Currently, we have made it into the public information phase. This phase includes six public meetings to allow people to hear the why from the city, hear from legal experts on how the process works and hear from our finance people to see what the impact looks like. Then we open the floor up to discussion.

The first two meetings have now happened, and the discussions were good. Items like agricultural land is not affected until its use changes, discussions about fire and police protection, lower cost of trash service for residents in the area, recycling being a weekly service that is no additional cost, even just helping residents understand what exactly an annexation means and a stack of other items that have been covered is why these meetings are so important.

If you own one of the 210 parcels located in the proposed annexation, I hope you have a chance to join us for one of these six meetings during the month of July. To those who have already, thank you for sharing your viewpoints and asking good questions.

I recently had a chance to join the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce for a discussion on housing and the next day toured the 55-and-over housing unit being built on South Poplar Street. Both events were fun and educational. It also was a good chance for those in attendance to be reminded of how much we have going for our area.

Roughly 600 units are somewhere between the approval phase to the under construction phase just within Seymour and the 2-mile fringe. That translates to about a 4% growth in available housing units compared to all of Jackson County.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Perception is a mirror, not a fact. And what I look on is my state of mind, reflected outward.” That reflection in the mirror each morning has changed with age, and I don’t just mean the hair color. Sometimes, you sit down at a table even in this role and realize you are in the presence of vast knowledge from life experience.

Not that long ago, I would have been on the fringe of the conversation learning as much as possible. Now with my own knowledge, I am a part of the conversation helping answer questions and find solutions to the task at hand all while learning as we proceed.

Even after this realization, I still perceive myself as the student needing to learn as much as possible. This isn’t a bad thing at all, but every now and then, I need to remember I have grown and learned enough to on occasion be the teacher and share what I have learned in various settings.

I guess this week’s thoughts are just a reminder to continue to be humble and strive to learn, but also remember you have knowledge of your own to add to the conversation.

British psychologist Robert Holden said, “One new perception, one fresh thought, one act of surrender, one change of heart, one leap of faith can change your life forever.”

Matt Nicholson is the mayor of Seymour. Send comments to [email protected].

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