1/19/2006 3:03:00 PM Editorial Lessons from a life of service
It’s been said that in our high-tech, online world we’re losing sight of what it means to be part of a local community, and to serve that community.
But those who want a refresher course in community service would do well to take a look at the life of Dr. Michael Elliott.
Like many “country doctors” of his era and earlier, Dr. Elliott believed in giving something back to the community that gave him his livelihood. That belief was manifested in almost too many ways to count in the areas that mattered to him most — educating kids and making sure they stay active and healthy, and making sure Crawford County’s medical services were second to none. His influence and expertise reached far beyond his own practice.
Dr. Elliott was often outspoken and crystal-clear on the things he cared about. But he had earned the right to that kind of candor through his years of work and service. Even those who might have disagreed with his take on the issues certainly respected it.
And though some of the debates Dr. Elliott found himself in — from school consolidation to the difficult and contentious issues surrounding rural medical care — could be heated, he kept his sense of humor and perspective.
Dr. Elliott will certainly be missed. And there are those who wonder if those like him are the last of a breed — if there’s a place for “Dr. Elliotts” in the 21st century.
But the leaders of today, and of tomorrow, who embrace those lessons from his life — gaining credibility through hard work, commitment and service, and being able to keep a joyful perspective — have a great chance to be the kind of community servant who really makes a difference.