Jump Starts, a devotional written by Certified Speaking Professional, Tim Richardson, has been a source of inspiration lately for Mayor Ronnie. Two chapters in particular, The Gold Medal Life, and Stand the Heat have been most helpful recently given the challenges of this winter with record breaking cold, ice, snow, and just plain mess.
The Gold Medal Life talks about the need to strike the balance between allowing the examples of others to be an inspiration, but not a comparison. We are warned in Scripture about comparing ourselves to others, and those who do it are called “unwise.” The chapter also reminds us that Olympic athletes only compare themselves with themselves. Richardson says, “…repetition of excellence-building training and commitment to bettering oneself, rather than bettering the competition, are the keys to progress.”
Mayor Ronnie finds that with all the responsibilities he faces as a husband, friend, father, grandfather, as well as the one for whom “the buck stops here” when it comes to the City of Athens, he needs to do what he calls “supercharging the day.” It is the only way to “stand the heat.”
Clearly when we have a situation like we did when I-65 was shut down due to snow, people were being put up in churches, and a college basketball team from Georgia needed to be taken care of because their bus could not move, the cold, (ironically,) becomes the source of heat. I saw Sandra Marks, Ronnie’s wife the day after the next to last storm, and she said he had been up at least half the night staying abreast of the storm with all the department heads. The cold and storm were insisting upon the need for all of us to “stand the heat.” As told by City Hall Communications Specialist Holly Hollman to the local “news pool,” the Middle Georgia State College basketball team were so appreciative of the ways that the Athens Police Department “stood the heat, “ (i.e., the cold,) by taking care of them during the storm, that they sent them several autographed basketballs and a football, with effusive thanks.
Richardson says, “Most things worth having, talents worth developing, and prizes worth winning require persistence and hard work. Hard work is killing unless you stay focused on its rewards. As you strive and struggle today, keep in mind the goals and horizons you hope to see. Remember, the thing that keeps the hiker climbing the mountain is that he keeps his eye on the summit. Be sure that today your recognition of hard work is accompanied by remembrance of its rewards.
One of the things that is on the docket for March is a new round of diversity training for first responders, police, and those who are in health and wellness industries. While the training is periodic, it was suggested by local business interests that it be revisited soon.
We talked about polarization in our nation, the fact that in ways we are looking like we are moving backwards, and what to do about it. Then it became apparent that the best thing to do would be to pray, which we did, and once again, Ronnie was rollin.’
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner