Feel empowered to let your light shine


By Matt Nicholson

I want you to take a second and remember a time you felt empowered.

Before I expand more on this thought, let me share some of my week.

Every day, I work on our community. Sometimes, though, that community is larger than Seymour. Recently, I had one of those days, as several meetings were not just to help improve Seymour but also Jackson County and beyond.

One of those meetings is the steering committee for the READI grant that Jennings, Bartholomew and Jackson counties are getting ready to apply for. It is always interesting to see what ideas come out and what has enough support to make it through and stay on the list. It is easy to say something should stay until you start having to account for where the various matches come from. Then it gets harder to keep some projects alive.

Recently, I had a chance to visit the old site of the Seymour Recycling Center. I was able to get a tour and learn more about the original cleanup in the ‘80s. I had a chance to see how we still check the area via the numerous wells that are near the 12-acre property. Thank you to Melvin for giving me a chance to learn about the process and what his job looks like.

I am sure you will find this hard to believe, but it is that time of year where I start thinking about my goals for next year. Before I took office, I spent some time organizing what I thought my goals and focuses would be for each year of my term. I was fully aware I may or may not get to follow my road map as I set it out. This is why I evaluate and see if we have accomplished enough to transition into the next area or not.

One of my early areas was housing. We have made improvements and are working our way to a better place. Now, I am starting to feel confident about moving into 2022 areas while we continue to finish off 2021 work.

Now back to that time you felt empowered. Was it at work? Was it on a community project? Could it have been a part of your work with a nonprofit organization? Where it was really doesn’t matter as much as how it made you feel and how that feeling allowed you to accomplish more than you probably thought you could.

As we set up for a recent event, I had an employee tell me, “Wow! It is going to happen.” They may not have even noticed they said it, but it caught me off guard.

This employee had presented an idea for an event. I encouraged her to run with it and that myself and others would be there to support her along the way. The event turned out to be a success for our community.

I share this today so I can remind all in our community that part of my role is to help support viable ideas and help see them to reality. I say viable because often, someone will bring an idea and want the city to be the lead on the project. Sometimes, this is doable, and other times, we can’t.

I learned before I was ever elected to serve that ideas with visible legwork on the front end and support outside of just one or two people can happen in any community. A small group of citizens willing to roll up their sleeves and spend some time preparing for how to finish something can make it happen much easier than a dreamer who wants the city to do all of the legwork.

Now before you get upset, realize I have been the dreamer, and I have been the roll-your-sleeves-up guy. I have pitched ideas with very little research, and I have spent the time to put a price tag and plan in place.

American author Marianne Williamson said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.”

Don’t be afraid to pitch the idea, but make sure you are ready for how brightly your light can shine when you do your legwork on the front end.

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