Moore Finds Comfort Outside his Comfort Zone
Bob Moore says it may not have meant the same thing to everyone, but he just didn’t think McPherson residents should go traipsing through the town’s cemetery.
Moore knew the difference, he said, between the popular decision that maintains the status quo, and the unpopular decision that could leave us on the outs with neighbors, but he took a stab at the proper though somewhat unpopular decision anyway.
Today, he exists well outside the boundaries of his so-called “comfort zone” and has decided to stay there despite that and other uncomfortable decisions.
“It is done and it’s not a big deal, but it was at one point,” Moore said of the 6-foot, $40,000 fence he and other city commission members had built to protect cemetery grounds from walkers. “Out of respect for loved ones, people shouldn’t just walk over the gravesites.”
Moore calls the steps he took toward public life unusual.
He’s served as the president of the chamber of commerce and sat on other boards. His decades of work as a restaurant owner and real estate agent suited him just fine.
But through his limited civic engagement, he felt the need to do a little more. He disagreed with some fairly recent city government decisions. He found it hard to sit idly by while others allowed problems to sit without real attempts to solve them.
So about 3 years ago, he stepped out of his comfort zone and ran for a city commissioner’s seat.
“It’s hard to toot your own horn,” Moore said. “I’m not a horn tooter…. But I stepped outside my comfort zone and I enjoyed it. Running for city commission was really outside my zone.”
It almost didn’t happen.
Before he knew it, he’d stepped out of his comfort zone.
Moore didn’t just run for an empty or expired seat. He took on and knocked off a commissioner who’d held the seat for 11 years. Now he said he’s learning daily, even hourly.
“I’m learning stuff all the time,” he said.
The KLC class pushed him out of his comfort zone, but he also cared deeply about his community.
“McPherson has been good to me, and I thought, this is a way that maybe I could pay back the community in a small way,” he said. “When I’m gone maybe I’ve done something to make it a better place.”
Moore doesn’t appear to have made his life easier. He has a few more challenges than he’d have had he chosen to exist outside civic life. Some of the pressures he faces, he creates for himself. Leadership positions mean getting a lot of flack.
“Problems come around all the time, and they go away,” he said, “but I felt we should deal with them now.”
So he listens a lot. He talks to the community members, many of whom supported his candidacy. He understands, he said, that what’s most comfortable isn’t always what’s best for us.