Brittney Burns — Commentary

All too often I hear comments from people about how “someone should do something about that,” or “this or that should be taken care of.” That sentiment has always had me perplexed because I have never met the magical “do something” fairies that everyone refers to.

I am a firm believer that if you want something done, you do it. It was a work ethic that my father drilled into me from a very young age. It doesn’t matter how little we had, or how tired we were, if someone needed help, or there was something to be done for someone else, we did it. Because we are just as willing and able as the next person. That same outlook is probably why I have ended up on a dozen volunteer boards and get asked often to lend a helping hand to some cause or the other, and for as long as I am able, I hope to continue to do that.

I think that sense of community is something that needs to be revitalized in today’s generation. Instead of waiting for someone else to take care of it, we should step up and be the ones to lead the charge.

Take the Little Tennessee Greenway in Franklin for instance. I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have heard someone say that someone needs to pick up the Greenway. That someone should clean it up or maintain it better. Did you know that those “someones” are a group of volunteers called Friends of the Greenway (FROGs). They regularly plan clean up events and work tirelessly to keep that entire park up for the rest of the county. So if you want “someone” to do something more about it, become that someone. Volunteer. Find out how an hour of your time on a Saturday can make a difference in the community.

Part of living in a small town means that a lot of what gets done, gets done when volunteers take the gumption to do it. To keep our tax base low, to keep things top notch for generations to come, it is up to us to do it. Trash on the side of the road, a meal for the needy, litter in the park, a festival downtown, art programs for kids, youth sports, access to free books, and so many other essential programs in our community are handled because someone cared enough to make them happen. We all enjoy the benefits of what these things mean for our community, but imagine how much more we could do, how much better it all could be, if everyone gave a little more of themselves to help someone else.

We are all busy. We are all pulled in 100 different directions at any given moment. But I can just about guarantee that there is at least one person who has it a little worse than you and by you giving just a moment, just an afternoon, just the little piece of yourself, it may just be a little thing for you, but may mean the whole world to someone else.

So get out and volunteer. Get involved and become part of the community that makes Macon County the incredible, absolutely undeniablly greatest place to live. This is our home, no one else is going to take care of it, it is up to us.