Shreveport and Caddo possess leadership walls and a basic lack of kindness that limit our ability to become a better community. Between our mayor and the school board the concept of “The Next Great City of the South” is no more than a shallow slogan. The basic inability to relate and demonstrate kindness toward opposing groups and concepts seems to be based on the belief that any demonstration of kindness, compassion or understanding is a sign of weakness.
Our community must recognize that a highly developed love for kindness transforms life from simply existing to forming rich and deep relationships with others. If we demonstrate kindness and respect opposing parties within our community, we become capable of expanding our reach. We can and will grow relationships and transcend traditional boundaries that divide society and limit our potential.
Growth as a society and as individuals only occurs when we recognize that kindness is a strength that transforms the lives of others as well as ourselves. Believing that kindness is a weakness and treating other parties as any less than equals weakens us and our beliefs.
Lacking a love for kindness is the inhumanity that exists in most of our daily interactions. Most of us share a love for unkindness demonstrated as a sharp wit that plucks weakness from a shallow pool and grows a torrent to destroy bonds and break walls that are necessary for some relationships to strive.
Kindness is a rock on which society is built. The world requires kindness, compassion and greater understanding of the differences which make cultures rich through cultural variance. Every act of kindness we show towards fellow travelers on our journey builds our character. We become better citizens and stewards of society with each act of kindness we show to others.
Some kindness requires an “iron fist in a velvet glove” mentality. Such may be the legal action and decisions of the Shreveport City Council in the dog park matters. The mayor has always talked about these actions of the council and dog park alliance as an attempt to limit the city charter powers given to him as the duly elected mayor. However, it is no more than a closely regulated, systematic and carefully defined determination to follow the law and charter as it is written.
The mayor must accept that his options are now well known to almost all of those in government, as well as his current and former supporters. He must publicly clarify his intent to pass control of the dog park along the riverfront development at the park to Caddo Parish as well as acquiesce to the original city council intentions for the park and park construction.
Too many official meetings and public events have been ego driven and based on posturing at the microphone for the press. Valuable resources have been wasted and taken from more pressing needs. It’s time to cut through destructive charades and address the real issues.
The CPSB has allowed teachers to start official preschool activities without leadership decisions being addressed. Community input and community panels have been ignored while posturing by elected board members and central office musical chairs have dictated meaningless change for education. Teachers, building staff, students and parents suffer because failed policies are not being addressed.
Our community needs to believe that constructive change is possible. Sunday, Monday and every day can be a day of change toward growth. However, change must be an active event. Change only occurs when parties believe and admit that the status quo does not equal change at government plaza or the Midway school board complex.
On this day we can increase our love for kindness as we recognize our potential for change. We can move forward and make shallow slogans have a little meat, a little more muscle and lot less fat.