I am a sports fan. I am also a father.
I am duly impressed by the athleticism and talent of our nation’s professional athletes. Many of these – for good or for bad – serve as role models, even “heroes,” to our children. While these individuals are impressive athletes, and many are also impressive human beings, they provide an unrealistic ideal for our children to strive for, and a perception that a person must be rich, famous, and “the best” at something to make an impact.
What about all of the quiet, local, unsung heroes? Those that make a positive difference in our daily lives, and the lives of generations to come, by volunteering in the community, going the “extra mile” at work, or choosing to run for office? What about those who through hard work and perseverance turn what seemed like an unachievable goal into reality? Do our children look up to them as heroes or role models? Do we?
While these people may not be rich or famous, or don’t have a line of shoes that bears their name, they are the leaders that impact our lives, and the lives of future generations. They are the ones who must make the tough – and sometimes unpopular – decisions for the greater good; not just the “good” of their agency, boss, or those that voted for him or her. That takes true courage – the makings of a hero.
The COMPASS Leadership in Motion awards program is designed to recognize and honor those who are our true local “heroes” – volunteers, professionals, and elected officials who are making a difference. In addition to the “people” awards, Leadership in Motion also recognizes businesses/nonprofits and government-sponsored projects that move us toward the future, and toward the goals established in Communities in Motion 2040, the regional long-range transportation plan for Ada and Canyon Counties.
While our children likely won’t suddenly be clamoring to replace the poster of their sports hero with a poster of a mayor, planner, or engineer, or want to buy the coolest loafers because a commissioner was seen wearing them, maybe we can make a dent in how we view our heroes – our leaders – by taking the time to nominate someone, or a business/nonprofit or project, that has had a genuine impact on our valley.
Nominations for COMPASS Leadership in Motion awards can be submitted here and will be accepted through 3:00 pm, Tuesday, September 30, 2014. Awards will be presented at the COMPASS/Valley Regional Transit holiday luncheon on Monday, December 15, 2014.