Citizens define true beauty of northwoodsMost citizens will tell you they love living in northern Wisconsin. Of course, we bemoan the long cold winters but we delight in the clean air, bright star-lit sky, abundant forests and clear waters in our streams, rivers and lakes.
By: By State Sen. Bob Jauch, Superior Telegram
Most citizens will tell you they love living in northern Wisconsin.
Of course, we bemoan the long cold winters but we delight in the clean air, bright star-lit sky, abundant forests and clear waters in our streams, rivers and lakes.
Like most rural areas there are economic challenges but there is something special in the quality of life that attracts our neighbors to live and stay in this far and beautiful country. It is God’s country.
We are fortunate to live in an area that most families will save for 350 days in order to escape the hustle and bustle of city life to enjoy a two-week vacation in the place we call home.
Exceeding the beauty of our natural resources is the strong, vibrant, and caring character of the people who live here. There is a special quality of people who care deeply about their community, volunteer their time and contribute to the well-being of their neighbors.
As a nation we celebrate the holidays as a special time of sharing. In northern Wisconsin, giving is a year round way of life. Our citizens are generous and their hearts always have plenty of room for others. It is in our DNA to selflessly think about our friends and neighbors.
They think about community and not just self. They care about doing what is right for the greater good. It has often been called the Wisconsin Way.
There isn’t a weekend where neighbors haven’t organized a fundraiser to help a family pay for a medical emergency or rebuild a home damaged or destroyed by fire. Our churches are filled with volunteers who bake cookies, fill stockings for our soldiers, and donate food or clothes to families less fortunate. The food shelves are stocked with donated food and church volunteers and scouts routinely volunteer to assist in the distribution of food to the needy.
They support our schools and give respect to educators for their dedication to bringing out the promise of our children.
With each natural disaster that strikes the north, volunteer firefighters and EMTs, with help from many other citizens, routinely respond to assist in the clean-up effort. Citizens don’t seek financial or personal gain. They want to help one another and serve the common good. They find solutions to the challenges that face us.
In 1988, Wisconsin adopted a slogan, “Wisconsin, you are among friends.” It was an accurate description of the good nature, warmth and sincerity of citizens who welcome others to our area.
However, in the political world, it has been hardly friendly.
In the past two years, emotionally political polarizing wedge issues have pit neighbor against neighbor, brother against sister and left us fractured and divided. It has left citizens condemning each other rather than working with each other.
Our reputation, long admired nationally, is now questioned by others around who wonder what happened to Wisconsin. As one Alabama lawmaker stated: “I sure hope that Alabama doesn’t look like Wisconsin.”
As our state addresses the multitude of economic, political and social challenges and looks to build a better Wisconsin, I would hope that we could all borrow the nature and good will of the citizens of the north and seriously tackle these toughest challenges in a reasoned, inclusive, transparent, comprehensive and fair way.
It is the Wisconsin Way. It defines the best of our traditions and culture. It describes our pride in ourselves and the promise that awaits us in our future as we keep our focus on the commonwealth that defines the best in all of us.
State Sen. Bob Jauch is a Democrat who hales from Poplar and represents the 25th District.