Good Citizens Don’t Run Away

[June 7, 2020]  I live in Southern New Jersey; about two hours drive from New York City (to downtown Manhattan).  My wife and I still have relatives, and many friends who live in the City, and they love it and would not live anywhere else.  What surprised me was that many of them moved away temporarily to avoid the Coronavirus pandemic and are now staying away because of the riots, looting, and general mayhem engulfing the City.  Did they run away?  I think so, yes.  And I also believe that good citizens don’t run away from problems in their City.

Your hometown is your hometown, good or bad.  It is a place we have all chosen voluntarily, even if born and raised there.  It is a place we can enjoy the many excellent localities to see, friends, to visit and to walk around and take in the majesty in this place we can call home.  We know our homes and our neighborhoods, our communities, and the make-up of people, places, and activities.  We are vested there, and we are part of making things better.  When things are bad, we help out.  After 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers pulled together and repaired their City.

To “Getting out of town, now!” as many told me, hurt them greatly.1  They were perhaps distraught and worried.  Now, they live in a small town or countryside, where life differs like night and day.  Whether they are on a farm, the beach, or lake, or settling in with relatives or friends, life has changed but not necessarily for the better.  Each of them expressed regret for leaving.  They feared someone would think they are somehow cowards in the battle taking place in New York City.  They are not present to lend a helping hand.  But they desperately want to help.  Their presence is missed friends and family, and they are no longer making a serious contribution.

What frustrates them most, by not being there, is they silently are saying they don’t care about the injustices they so strongly believe in correcting.  They want to make their City better.  Instinctively, they understand that the rioting and violence detracts from the message of the peaceful demonstrations that were so carefully and adoringly built.  What do others see?  By day, “peaceful demonstrator,” by night, “anarchist.”  They understand what this means to those outside the City looking in.  It means the demonstrators are not to be taken seriously; thugs rule the night.  Peaceful demonstrations have become a euphemism for wanton destruction of property, murder, looting, and assault on the people who live there.  They want none of it.

Living in the hard reality that New York City is under assault from looters, rioters, vandals, and criminals is tough.  Good citizens don’t run away.


  1. The New York Post estimates that 420,000 of its richest residents fled the city.
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

32 thoughts on “Good Citizens Don’t Run Away

  1. Joe the Aussie

    Run away. Run away. Ha ha ha ha. Cowards run away. Cheers!

    1. Georgie M.

      This is not so easy to dismiss. True, cowards do run away but people can be prudent and still not be a coward. I think moving out of a city to avoid catching a disease (unnecessarily in this case) was the right thing to do.

  2. Newtown Manager

    Gen. Satterfield, I do think most of us were thinking the same thing but just not putting it into words.

    1. Doug Smith

      Yes pushing us to think is what Gen. Satterfield does for us. Some may believe that he is “pushy” or “rigid.” I don’t find this to be the case because by pushing us, he is providing a little bit of motivation to improve ourselves. We need more of this frankly.

  3. Tony B. Custer

    Thanks for another great article. Interesting. Made me feel kinda bad for them. I hope everyone in your family is well. Sadly, I not so sure the politicians have made such good decisions. New York City under its mayor is having a tough time.

    1. Mike Baker

      Yes, and that is why Gen. Satterfield and his blog are high on my daily list of things to do (read and think) so that I can get better over time as a leader, even if it’s one small step at a time.

  4. Scotty Bush

    Intrigued by your blog post today, Gen. Satterfield. Thanks for getting my thinking juices flowing today. 😊

    1. Dennis Mathes

      Yeah, I was thinking the same thing Scotty. You beat me to it. I would also like to add that living now in Los Angeles Calif for over ten years that being there during the pandemic has made me think a lot about that decision and if it was the right one for my family. My wife and I discussed it and we are thinking about moving north into Oregon and to a much less congested area.

      1. Mr. T.J. Asper

        Many of us are thinking like this.

      2. Tracey Brockman

        I’m staying in the city. Too many good things to give up. But some of those who left will be welcomed back and as it should be.

  5. Lady Hawk

    Looks like you know folks from New York City (Manhattan?) that got out of there because initially of the pandemic. I wonder what they are thinking now. I also wonder if they realize the value of not living in a big city. Who knows, but I would like to see a follow up on this later. Thanks Gen. Satterfield. Keep up the great website.

  6. Stacey Borden

    Wow, spot-on commentary. I couldn’t have said it better and yet I found nothing, absolutely nothing, anywhere in the media about the ‘cowardice’ of those who fled from their homes in big cities to avoid the pandemic and violence. I could understand a little of the reasoning for the pandemic especially if you have kids. But avoiding it for the violence shows only the true colors of those who call themselves city-liberal progressives.

    1. Georgie M.

      Yes, it was a big hit to the platitudes we see from those who call the rest of us “deplorables” or that we live in “fly over country, cling to our Bibles, and have guns.” Makes you wonder !!

      1. Xerxes I

        Right Georgie but lets not hold onto the same sort of logic or paint all people living in big cities the same. Many are realistic and want the good life like us all. We should help all those who wish our help and not make a political checklist part of the equation.

      2. Willie Shrumburger

        You have a point but I don’t think it makes me wonder about their logic or beliefs. Being a good person means accepting all.

        1. Georgie M.

          Yes, ironic. That is the word I think of when I think of these folks.

      3. Nick Lighthouse

        I agree that pandering to crazies is not a successful tactic. It’s like wrestling with a pig, you get dirty and the pig likes it. No win situation. I would not personally live in a super big city but smaller cities are actually pretty good and the leadership more down to earth and smarter too.

  7. Kenny Foster

    Loved your article. Makes us think what we should be doing or avoiding. Associate with good people and not with cowards.

    1. Yusaf from Texas

      … and associate only with those that tell the truth and adopt responsibility appropriately. I know, yes, I’m sound a lot like Gen. Satterfield. One of his themes is telling the truth and being responsible. That is the mark of a leader. I’ve been a regular reader of this blog now for more than 3 years and get a lot from reading his daily blog posts. I recommend doing so to people who don’t have much time because they are leaders.

    2. Greg Heyman

      Yes, another good one. I forwarded this one to my friend living in Chicago. Boy, did he say it was spot-on. So it also applies to cities other than NYC.

      1. Linux Man

        Good point Greg. Thank you. I find that those who most love city life are good people who think like those who don’t live there are some kind of hick (lowlife). Now they are coming out to where the “hicks” are living. Gee, wouldn’t you know.

      2. Andrew Dooley

        I almost always forward these article. Just a way for me to keep track and learn more.

  8. Harry Donner

    Exceptional article this morning. Unexpected but well needed in these times.
    STAND FIRM for what is right.

    1. Anita

      As we all should. But knowing what is ‘right’ is also a characteristic of a good person. It means having the experience and mental capacity to know the difference in good and evil– the latter which often hides itself to look like the good.

  9. Gil Johnson

    Great commentary and so should it be that we are not COWARDS.

    1. Max Foster

      Stand up for what you believe in, do what is right, take on the responsibility that you should, be a moral man or woman. Don’t run away from problems. This is the philosophy, crudely put by me, that all good people should adopt.

      1. the ace

        Well said, Max. I believe it and taught my kids the same. We are a wonderful family for it. No regrets.

    2. Tom Bushmaster

      Don’t be a coward. Don’t run away from your family or community.

    3. Benny

      Thank you GIl. While I’m new, I do believe in not being a coward. I taught that by my dad who was in Afghanistan fighting bad guys.

      1. Danny Burkholder

        Welcome Benny. Please read all the comments (I usually do it the day after so I can read them all). This will give you some insights into the thinking of some smart people. They are only a few years ahead of you. Pay attention to what they say and argue the opposite viewpoint to gain a better understanding of what good means.

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