Today's column is a little different, a little off the beaten trail if I can use that analogy.
We have visited a different part of Trumbull County and enjoyed ourselves in the process. We've met some new people and hopefully begun some new friendships.
But I am going down a different trail today. I'm not blazing a new trail because many have gone down this one before me, and many will go down it after me.
I like to read and I always have. Some of my earliest memories are of reading. I still have old books that I read as a child. I've given books to my wife and children and now to my grandchildren and to friends and co-workers.
I read for personal interest and for work. I read books, magazines and of course, newspapers. Reading opens up so many doors to learning. I keep a pocket dictionary in my briefcase so that I can look up words too. That brings me to this thought. Webster's Dictionary defines ''crisis'' as a decisive or critical moment.
I've just started reading ''7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis'' by Bill George. Now I can't say that I endorse everything in the book because I haven't finished it. It was purchased because of the title and the work that I do. I am not familiar with the author and haven't read anything else he has written, yet.
Based upon what is happening in our country, the table of contents and a description of the ''lessons'' in the book, I think a lot of people should read this book. Maybe they should even apply some of it in their lives and communities.
The author refers to ''crisis'' as the ultimate test of leadership. He seems to develop the idea that a crisis will not only develop leadership traits or show a lack of them; it will also reveal character or a lack of it. To me this crisis we are experiencing in our country, which trickles down to Warren, Niles, or wherever you live and work, will ultimately reveal who we are and what we believe. It will also reveal our character or regrettably our lack of character.
We use different words to paint a picture in different ways. Character could simply be the ability to choose right from wrong. It could be the innate quality to be responsible and to choose to make a good or positive difference in life. It could be called ''backbone'' or ''intestinal fortitude'' or ''integrity.'' It might also mean that an individual stops complaining and whining and begins to look for solutions and take appropriate action.
Could it be that simple?
No one would deny that we are in a crisis in this country. The solutions may be difficult for everyone. There is no easy way out of our problems. It will take good, honest, humble character to get out of this crisis and move toward a positive outcome. It will involve sacrifice and change. But if I understand history, we've done similar things before.
Now back to the book. This book is full of quotes, and I like that. I have been a collector of quotes for a long time. So I'll close with a quote from the forward.
''It is not in the still calm of life or the repose of a pacific station that great characters are formed,'' Abigail Adams wrote to her son John Quincy in 1780. ''The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulty. Great necessities call out great virtues'' (pp. xv-xvi).
That is certainly something to think about, isn't it?
Mazey is a Trumbull County pastor. Email him at email@example.com.