Perhaps one of the best known and oft used phrases in society is “actions speak louder than words.” I like to think of it as putting what we believe into practice. It isn’t enough to simply say that we believe in doing good for others and bringing out the best in them; we have to do something. This is why I chose local government as a career. It gave me an opportunity to combine the ability to communicate with my love of helping people, I have always believed public service is one of the highest callings we can be called to; and while we can’t all work in the public sector, each of us can use our skills to leave our corner of the world better than it was when we first arrived in it.
I am fortunate because I get a reminder of this on a daily basis from my best friend, doing a job that I truly love. Tim Davis is the development director for the city of Troy; while working with one’s closest friend is indeed a blessing, the lessons born from that relationship, is far more enriching. Tim shows me service to others doesn’t necessarily mean holding a high ranking office or position, but rather in an infinity of small things which seek to give the best of ourselves to the betterment of our community. He personifies for me the essence of what it means to truly care about one’s hometown. Whether it’s being part of a service club, coaching youth sports, or volunteering for a local nonprofit; Tim can always be counted on for his voice of optimism and the smile that gives joy to everyone that sees it. For as important and impactful as these activates are, they teach us something through their simplicity.
Namely that we can all do something, regardless of our education level, the job we hold, or our station in life; each one of us have a duty to give something back to where we call home. As a teenager, two teachers showed me why it was important to use my skills help others; as an adult Tim shows me how. More than anything, he inspires me. The world is full of uncertainty, especially right now. There are two things that stand like stone; the first is that we must seek examples or role models that call our attention to that which is positive; and the second is that we each have our own set of unique gifts and talents. Life, at some point or another, presents us with an opportunity to use those abilities to have a positive impact in our communities. In the final analysis it’s our choice to use them.
Through his constant advice, support, and being the occasional driver when I need it, Tim helped me make my choice, through my writings, presentations, and involvement in civic affairs; I hope that in some small way, I have helped a few people make theirs. Together, as a community, we have come through some difficult and trying circumstances. Times such are only useful if something good can come out of them. Tim, and the people who are important to me have been there for me in the midst of my difficult times, the greatest gift my friendship with Tim has given to me is a profound understanding of one of life’s most profound, yet simple truths… when you get, give.
That is my challenge to everyone who reads this editorial. Do something, one thing, no matter how small to give back to your community and the people in it. In my view, this is how we can truly live all the days of our life, if we are wiling to say yes to the very high calling of giving back.
Michael Ham is a city of Troy employee and a member of the Troy City Schools Board of Education.