Examples of leadership everywhere

I often hear people commenting that we need new leaders for our community, state or nation to be able to move forward.

That’s often part of this “clean house” calls whenever there is a political election taking place. People aren’t happy about the way a governmental body is being operated, and they place blame on those elected to do the job.

Sometimes, that is the case, and if someone isn’t doing their job properly, then someone new should get the opportunity. It’s not always about the party affiliation.

Political officials aren’t the only leaders out there, though. Sure, they get most of the spotlight. They are in the public eye, hold public meetings and make public appearances.

In my experiences, though, more is done in a community by those who don’t seek that spotlight. They find a niche they see needs filled and they work to find a solution to a problem. Sometimes they reach out to others for help, but most of the time they stay in the background, not looking to take credit.

I look at students from many of our high schools who step up and put together fundraisers for area organizations, or activities for local children.

I look at those who raise money, seek grants or put together other programs to beautify a neighborhood park or playground.

I look at individuals who come up with a project to recognize the men and women of our area who have served in the military, fighting to protect the rest of us.

I look at a group who finds a way to provide scholarships for graduating high school seniors in order to help them continue their education.

I look at the members of a church who work for months on end each year to put together a three-day event for residents from throughout the Ohio Valley to enjoy. For that matter, I look at any group who works tirelessly in order to put together any kind of community fair or festival to bring our area together.

I look at neighbors uniting to find a way to beautify their homes, their streets, and, as a result, part of their community, taking pride and encouraging others to do the same.

I look at those who give up their weekends, or several nights a week, to find ways to help those in need, whether through volunteering at a charitable organization, serving food at a soup kitchen or similar outlet, or collecting food items to benefit young children who might otherwise not have a meal at home.

There are leaders throughout our area, finding ways to make a difference in a variety of ways and helping others more than most will ever realize.

Others may get the glory, but these are the ones who truly make a community what it is.

We have an election coming up in only a few weeks, and while that is certainly important, let’s not let it all overshadow the fact we can all be a leader and make a difference.

We don’t need to hold public office to do it.

(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at chowell@weirtondailytimes.com or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)