Priorities and Schedules
Given their reluctance to put people in binary categories, emerging sage leaders comment on the differing priorities that mid-life persons in Twin Towns have. At this point in their lives many serious-minded adults believe it is enough to raise children in a caring and supportive manner. Or simply in being a decent and caring human being. This may add as much to the vitality of the community as high-level civic involvement. Not everyone is meant to be the leader of a team or the spokesperson for a cause.
There is also the matter of schedules. People with a 9 to 5 job are not able to attend a 3 pm meeting chaired by a retired person. And they are unable to schedule family life while actively engaged in community activities. Many persons spend most of their time just trying to survive and put food on their family’s table. They may have many wonderful talents to share but, sadly, don’t have the time because they are holding down two jobs or doing part-time work on the side to eke out a decent living. There simply is no room in their schedule for becoming engaged in the community’s civic issues.
Knowledge, Access, and Vulnerability
Some barriers to civic engagement are psychological rather than being about personal priorities and schedules. They are about fear of rejection, appearing ill-informed, or the fear of losing a private life. For many people in Grass Valley and Nevada City, the fundamental issue is they don’t know “how” to get involved. With some justification, they sometimes view the current volunteer community as a closed system and don’t feel invited to join in. Others may feel insecure about becoming involved in an organization that is dominated by “old-timers” who understand how to get things done, and know what the leverage points are for undertaking community change. These “new kids on the block” feel awkward and alone. They don’t feel included or fully appreciated, so they ask, “Why go through the agony?”Download Article 1K Club