Listening is first step to action

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 3, 2011

Talking and listening can result in moving mountains — literal ones as well as figurative ones.

A couple of years ago, Natchez-Adams County residents practically took for granted that city leaders and county leaders didn’t get along well.

They’ve squabbled.

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They’ve jabbed one another.

And they’ve often done lots of talking at one another, but done very little listening to one another.

When the talking gets measured and the listening becomes genuine, an amazing thing can happen — a little understanding comes.

Those tiny bits of understanding can serve as the foundation for houses of understanding and towers of togetherness.

That was clearly evident Tuesday night at the first (at least in recent years) town hall meeting of city and county elected officials.

Thanks to the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce for serving as the conduit to get the two sides at the same table. That role of bringing people together to talk through issues has become a common trait of the chamber and we are thankful each time such meetings work.

At the end of the Tuesday evening’s meeting, all sides agreed it was a success.

No one yelled. No one finger-pointed and no one called anyone a bad name.

Simple, basic communication occurred.

The overriding message: We’re all in this community together.

Once that sinks in and we turn the listening and understanding into planning and action, our community cannot be stopped.