My Shout: It's time to get involved

Charlotte Guedry
Charlotte Guedry

In my line of work, I have to go to a lot of meetings. During most of them, I stumble across some pretty interesting and important topics.

I have the luxury of finding out about exciting things that are happening right here in our community.

Well, Ascension, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It’s not just me, or other members of the media who are allowed to be enlightened by these tidbits of information. You, too, are welcome to all of it.

Here’s the problem, though. I hear from a lot of different people that they “can’t believe so and so did that,” or “how dare they pass that.”

If you really don’t like it, then do something about it. Go to the meetings. They are all public forums, which means that you, yes, you, are welcome and encouraged to attend. You are specifically asked to speak your minds. The officials want to know what you have to say.

It’s always the same one or two people that go to these meetings, so local government may sometimes see these one or two people as the majority viewpoint. However, it may very well be that the majority voice isn’t being heard at all. Why? Because they aren’t there.

This week alone, I went to both the Gonzales and Sorrento town meetings. You won’t have seen me there, as you weren’t there. (Insert a scathing wag of my finger)!

Okay, okay, a few of you were there, so maybe I’m not being altogether fair.

At each of the meetings, though, both mayors specifically asked if citizens had any questions or comments, and no one said anything. I find this odd.

Maybe it bothers me because I’m English. I’m from London, which is basically the land that invented the loudmouth.

We simply do not like decisions being made for us when we have not been consulted.

“How very dare you,” we will say, followed by a dramatic scowl and an “I bid you good day, sir!” This is all said before we turn on our heels, in a very noble manner, mind you, and walk away.

An episode of ‘Family Guy’ perhaps said it best when a comment was made about England not having drive-by shootings, but having drive-by arguments.

Seriously though, Ascension,  you have to get involved.

Think of all the places in the world where the voice of one person doesn’t matter at all. Well, it does here. It really matters quite a bit, so use that voice.

One of the things I love so much about living here is the sense of community. People generally care for each other here. Residents are the first to throw together a jambalaya fund raiser at the drop of a hat. Residents are the first to help their neighbors if a hurricane hits the area, or a crisis befalls them.

That’s something to be so very proud of, Ascension. It’s a lovely way to be.

So why can’t we all just take that to the next level, and be the first ones out there, caring about our community’s government, not just our community’s people.

It’s our responsibility, not just our right, to make this parish greater every single day.

Getting involved is one sure way to go about doing just that.