The Herald Bulletin

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Columns

March 31, 2013

Jesse J. Wilkerson: Mounds Lake proposal an idea worth considering

ANDERSON, Ind. — I have often heard it said that variety is the spice of life. We have lived with one wave of thought so long that anything new sounds like a foreign gospel. I at times have had to fight the urge to shut down at hearing an idea that stretched me.

What I have observed from my travel is that communities are the same everywhere. I have gathered that they are the same because they are filled with people, and people are generally the same everywhere go.

What makes a community successful? People do.

I live in a world where I am constantly problem solving. It is part of my job. Ideas lead you places. They take you on a train of thought that, though the destination is not guaranteed, helps you cross barriers that might otherwise cause you to abandon exploration.

Not all ideas are good. Nor are all ideas bad. When we stop generating ideas we might as well pitch in the towel and stop living.

How do you determine if an idea like the $350 million proposal for Mounds Lake Reservoir is potentially successful? Do you line up all the pros and cons and allow them to duel it out in your mind? Or maybe you gather as much empirical data as possible so that any decision you make has to be observed from a “black-and-white” position.

What if we considered any idea as an exploration to find out more to stretch ourselves for a broader reality? I have been standing on a soapbox for years proclaiming that we should beware of negative words and negative voices. I have also advocated that we challenge ourselves to see something bigger, to stretch further, go deeper in creating a new identity for ourselves.

Anderson/Madison County has been presented a unique opportunity, via the reservoir proposal. It is obvious it is not what we are accustomed to thinking. Some of us will consider the political-will factor and disengage all possibility. Others of us will get stuck at the cost alone and dismiss the idea.

By the way, did you know the presidential inauguration cost about $300 million, the Pacers can likely be purchased for about $320 million, and it is reported that the Afghan war cost $300 million a day?

I am grateful for those who considered the obstacles and decided to continue on. Without them we wouldn’t have any new ideas to consider. It is a shift in the way we see ourselves and the way that others see us, as well.

Jesse J. Wilkerson is the owner of a local architecture and design firm. His column appears every other Monday.

 

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