THE ART OF BEING EFFECTIVE - LEAVING A MARK
Just about everyone wants to find meaning in their life through their work or effort. They want to leave a mark on the world and on other people's lives, whether that mark is large or small. Being a good mother or father in raising the parent's offspring, falls into the category of leaving a mark. Being good, or becoming excellent, at sports, or business, or art, or music, or even being a good politician, is leaving a mark. But keep in mind that a "mark" can be positive to society, or negative. The true "mark" is measured, by those with integrity, in the form of concrete and honorable results where value is created.
Being effective, according to the American dictionary, is "being successful at producing a desired or intended result." Crooks can be effective at becoming good burglars by not being caught. Obviously, this has a negative affect on society and is rejected and punished by society.
Recently we have become concerned that we were not being effective, after writing a weekly column on conservative issues for 10 years. That observation was apparent by the fact that so few took the time to debate or discuss the many issues we discussed in those 10 years, even though we had a fairly large reading audience. Now we understand why the response was so low given that most of the problems we addressed were not solvable by the individual. Most people, if living a comfortable life, are content to let the next generation handle the vexing problems that no one else seems to be able to solve today.
Essentially, all we were really doing was adding to the din of the conservative mantra that flooded the net and other venues, in response to where America was headed, from a conservative perspective.
We started asking, is conservative author Chuck Baldwin being effective? Is he changing minds? Is Devvy Kidd, another excellent author, being effective? Is Tom DeWeese being effective? Is Michael Coffman effective? How many minds have Rush Limbaugh, or Sean Hannity, or Bill Reilly changed? Even with all this conservative pressure from so many positive and enlightened sources, America is still headed for ruin and the erosion of freedom. Can all this conservative pressure eventually become effective? That is a question for history.
Consequently, we had to start re-thinking our efforts about "being successful at producing a desired or intended result." Where were we being the most effective? It turns out that our effort in being an advocate for the American rural landowner and providing information, inspiration, products and services to them, was much more "effective" than our weekly column.
The National Association of Rural Landowners (NARLO) will be ten years old in a few more months. Its birth, 10 years ago, was very tenuous.
Back in April of 2004 we had a long conversation with Henry Lamb of Sovereignty International. (now deceased) Henry was well known in American freedom and property rights circles. We had an interest in starting a national organization for freedom, liberty and property rights. Henry's consul was that many have tried and all have failed. He said we would be lucky to even keep the lights on. Based on what he said, we all but gave up on the idea. We threw out our paper files and purged our hard drive of relevant files.
However, one week later (really!) we discovered that the county we live in, that includes the city of Seattle, was proposing a draconian land use ordinance for the rural areas of the county. One of the more onerous provisions of the ordinance was that if you wanted to do anything on your property, you know like build a home, or even a fence, you would have to reserve off 65% of your land as open space and you couldn't do anything on or with it. Purportedly, the 65% set aside was for aquifer recharge, wetland preservation and the protection of animal habitat, a clear government purpose for all the people, but government wasn't going to pay you for it. They were just going to take it by regulation and the rural landowner could just lump it.
What became readily apparent was that these ordinances fell disproportionately on rural landowners in the county, while the city folk were unaffected. In essence, the rural landowners were disenfranchised from the political process by being virtually unrepresented. In fact the city folk were all for the new regulations. They even had the audacity to call our rural lands "their" lands, as if they had every right to restrict it to protect "their" environment.
Upon further research it became evident that rural landowners all across America were being asked to bear almost the entire burden of environmental protection. Not only is that not fair, it is a direct violation of the equal protection clause of the U. S. Constitution, not to mention the 5th Amendment that requires due process and just compensation for government takings.
From those observations the National Association of Rural Landowners was born on January 1, 2006. Since 2006, we have made significant progress in reaching out to both rural landowners and the city folk alike. We have defied Henry Lamb's prediction, at no small effort on our part. Our powerful, legally intimidating No Trespassing signs have been installed on thousands of rural lands nationwide. Our one-of-a-kind rural landowner handbook is a big hit with landowners. Our conservative messages were and still are reaching into every corner of America and even Canada. The NARLO website is viewed by citizens from all over the world.
Had our efforts not been "effective" in those 10 years, NARLO would no longer exist and would have died from dollar starvation long ago. We therefore plan to significantly expand the effectiveness of NARLO by increasing its memberships and donations and added services so that NARLO leaves its mark on the world (or at least America) and the individual lives of rural landowners.
So rather than spend hours writing conservative articles that very few read or react to, we are now going to focus most of our effort on being an excellent advocate and consultant for the millions of rural landowners in America that find themselves being forced to bear almost the entire burden of environmental protection, while their urban brothers and sisters get off virtually scot-free.
We have added more benefits to becoming a NARLO member. We have re-started the NARLO Newsletter after a five-year hiatus. The Newsletter will focus exclusively on rural issues. Besides receiving the NARLO monthly newsletter, NARLO members will receive the option of getting one of NARLO's powerful, legally intimidating 18" x 24" No trespassing sign, or NARLO's Rural Landowner Handbook, with their membership. Members can also submit one, one-quarter-page advertisement for the newsletter, each year, that will run in three consecutive issues. Non-members can receive the NARLO newsletter by clicking HERE.
If the reader wants to read any of the over 500 articles we have written on most of the issues facing Americans today, they can log onto our website HERE.
Nevertheless, we take a certain pride in those 500 articles and maybe we didn't move the needle very much, but we were able to succinctly articulate our vision of where America should be, not where it is going. We may still write articles from time to time when a hot button issue presses our desire to share our thoughts in words. To those of you that have found value in our words over these many years, we sincerely thank you.
Finally, if you are an American rural landowner, it is most likely in your self-interest to stay connected with NARLO. We fully intend to hone the art of being "effective" in our efforts and leave our "mark", through NARLO's ever-expanding brand on the American rural landowner.
[NOTE: The forgoing article represents the opinion of the author and is not necessarily shared by the owners, employees, representatives, or agents of the publisher.]
� 2015 Ron Ewart — All Rights Reserved
Ron Ewart, a nationally known author and speaker on freedom and property issues and author of his weekly column, "In Defense of Rural America", is the President of the National Association of Rural Landowners, (NARLO) (http://www.narlo.org) a non-profit corporation headquartered in Washington State, an advocate and consultant for urban and rural landowners. He can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being a good mother or father in raising the parent's offspring, falls into the category of leaving a mark.