Getting credit for doing something to help others shouldn’t be part of it. Experience tells me those thankless people leave it to others for the recognition. Seeing something get accomplished or a life changed as a result of a little effort is the recognition they seek.
No doubt we all like a pat on the back, some good words or, more importantly, respect. But at the end of the day, if we do things to get credit, we are missing the ball. Just about every day I see folks in the outdoors who do things because it’s the right thing to do — not to get recognition or an award. Those folks are the real doers and there is little doubt they see it that way, too.
It truly comes down to how you want to be remembered, or what mark you leave. It’s not always about getting paid or being first in line. It is much bigger than that and most times these folks take the ego or money completely out of the equation.
I think it’s funny when I hear, “It’s just my job,” or, “It is no big deal.” Most times it is above and beyond the call of duty, and most generally it is not self-serving. The betterment of the whole is greater to them than whatever they get out of it. It may be their job, but the pride they have in it outweighs anything they can be paid.
They are easy to spot, too. Most don’t have to be prodded or poked to be involved and most get right in the middle of the effort no matter how big or small the job is. That is what makes them special.
Across the state and country there are still groups and individuals who put others ahead of themselves. Many may not even know they did something because they do not seek publicity. They just do things because they need to be done. Without them, things would not be as nice.
Jackie Kraft and her team at McLean County Soil and Water are a group that gets things done. They are right in the middle of a very large bank restoration project at Lake Bloomington and Lake Evergreen and their efforts with the City of Bloomington will be felt for years. Our drinking water will be cleaner, it will take less money to treat and our lakes will have a longer life cycle as a result.
The Bloomington Normal Bass Club has got in the middle of working with the McLean County Parks on maintenance and support of the Sam Leman Pavilion and surrounding parking lots. This past week a group got together to fill potholes. Thanks Eric Varner and Taylor Umland for the help there. A day is being planned to do even more there.
Friends of Everbloom is another group that goes unheralded in our area. It is again live and well and participation with homeowners at both area lakes will be getting a shot in the arm moving forward. You will be hearing more about that very soon. The passing of Jerry Martoglio left a huge void, but big things are being planned for Lake Bloomington in his honor. We have to continue to carry that ball. He loved that park and left a legacy that will forever be remembered.
The Prairieland Anglers is another group that is always involved and their work at all of lakes may be unheralded, but is recognized by those around Dawson, Evergreen and Lake Bloomington. They always pitch in and their projects include work with habitat, teaching youth and working with the military at HOOAH events.
You don’t have to be a fisherman, camper, bike rider or really an outdoors person to get involved. Maybe you take on cleaning a city park by picking up trash, or maybe just donate a few dollars to one of these organizations to help with the efforts. I would gladly help getting you in touch with the right person for that involvement. Even the little things matter.
It is clear that COVID had a negative impact on get-togethers and team efforts. But as restrictions ease, there is no better time to stick your toe into one of these groups or others you may be aware of. Small gestures can turn into big results. Get involved in something and give back if you can. Making a difference does have rewards.
Terry Brown is President of Wired2Fish.com, an industry leading, daily website and social media fishing centered community that provides information on products, industry newsmakers and fishing techniques. You can read more by going to www.Wired2Fish.com.