Division by Gregg Motley

Gregg Motley. President of the Regional Economic Development, Inc. Submitted photo.


Abraham Lincoln famously paraphrased the Good Book in a speech to the Illinois State Republican convention with regard to the deep divisions he witnessed in our nation over slavery just prior to the Civil War: “A house divided against itself will not stand.” This timeless wisdom, which is still true today, holds sway over Bourbon County and several of our communities. We are divided east and west, by socio-economic factors, politics, local issues, national issues, old grudges, urban and rural, and the list goes on.

These divisions seem more pronounced because of social media and YouTube broadcasting public forums, but it remains true that the lack of ability or effort to reach a consensus over basic issues has prevented us from solving problems. At times our county and our cities have looked chaotic.

All these dynamics are the enemies of trust, which is a critical ingredient in moving organizations and communities forward. Unfortunately, outsiders see these dark lines drawn throughout our communities and want no part of it.

Thankfully, positive developments are occurring around our area; the county and the city are working to reduce the expenses of both by working together and sharing resources. Benevolent men, women, and organizations are charting paths to work together to address the needs of the community. More is achieved when resources are shared and pooled.

This is effort is vital as we face megatrends, the impact of which are challenging to mitigate. These are difficult opponents to face as a team, much more so as divided communities. The need to swallow our collective pride and work to repair old rifts and grudges is critical. We are all in the same boat, navigating the turbulent waters faced by rural America. We cannot afford the luxury of division.

Bourbon County REDI is looking to be a catalyst for cooperation, reconciliation, and positive change. If you have ideas as to how we can better eliminate division, please email our Economic Development Director, Rob Harrington at [email protected]. We would very much appreciate your thoughts.

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