Appreciate Your Hometown!
Growing up in a small town, you get a sense of pride in where you live. You want to see the town look good and you want visitors to leave saying good things about it. It’s always been a way of life for yards to be neatly mowed and trimmed and everything put into place.
Small towns are unique in their own way. Hometown pride is important when considering where you want to live. A quick drive through a small community says a lot about the kind of people and local government that live and rule there.
Empty storefronts and depressingly spare opportunities are easy to spot and give visitors a reason to exit quickly. Not too many people want to live in a small town with dirty streets, unkempt properties and trash and garbage setting out on the sidewalks and streets, and business and professional people will refuse to locate there.
Still, small town life is very much the way of living many are looking for. The Mayberry types and their values still matter today.
People for the most part are friendly, or at least friendlier, than in cities. When families move to a rural location, they quickly learn that anonymity in a small town isn’t really possible. You learn who to say hello to, and who not to say hello to. It’s true that everyone in a small town really does know most everyone and in many communities most are related.
Clean, small, well governed towns have a lot to offer. They enforce the law to a ‘T’ and they provide the basics to make small town life enjoyable. They offer good churches, schools, banks, restaurants, grocery stores, doctor’s offices, and every other basic service one needs to make it worthwhile.
Shopping at home was once the only means of consumerism. It’s true that when you buy from a small business you’re helping the local youth, and helping a family put food on the table. Small business owners try hard to make a go of it, but oftentimes they struggle with lack of experience, lack of capital, and lack of customers. However, it’s great to know you can find these things at home without having to drive to the big city to stock up.
Successful small town businesses get to know their customers by name and habit. If there is a general store or gas station, shop there; they open early and normally close late. As experienced here locally over the past couple of weeks, with more to come in the next few months, are many more reasons to live in small town America. We’re talking about fairs and festivals, something that draws thousands of visitors into small town communities all across the country.
Great small towns and places people want to relocate to are the ones who have chosen not to die and have looked to themselves to find ways to succeed. Among other things, they ask, “What have we got that no one else has? What makes us different and worth knowing?”
Empty storefronts can equal exciting retail opportunities. Abandoned homes can mean low-cost housing. However, absolutely nothing will turn away newcomers faster than lack of parks and recreation and communities that fail to enforce rules, regulations, and ordinances that benefit the majority. Take a look around your neighborhood; if the yards look like junk yards, if trash is setting out on the front sidewalks, furniture and bedding thrown by the curbside and grass never mowed, call and let your councilman know you don’t appreciate it. Most likely that will be the only way to get anything accomplished. Unmowed grass is often a problem, but a ride around town shows it’s the least of problems in many neighborhoods.
In order to make your small town attractive and inviting, the majority must take the “Bull by the horn” and hold local officials accountable for allowing unkempt properties, junked up yards, parking violations, dirty and pothole filled streets, and the many other noticeable offenses that keep newcomers away.
It is a proven fact that small town people are kind and generous and will help one another. On the other hand, once things are neglected and begin to deteriorate it becomes much harder to live in peace and harmony, and in general people looking to invest and move to rural areas will go elsewhere.
Once the community starts on the downward spiral, it becomes increasingly harder to keep the life once enjoyed and locals will start moving out, causing a decline in population and bringing along many other problems.
However, the joy of rural living will alway be peace and quiet, fresh air, abundant wildlife, and hunting and fishing that city people envy. It’s a place where people share their garden in the summertime, mow each other’s grass and plow their neighbors driveway in the winter.
It’s clear that small town life may be the only life truly worth living! Take pride in your community and appreciate the low crime rate and benefits that make it special.