Community improvement doesn’t just happen! And nobody is going to do it for you.
The communities that achieve positive change – communities like Buckhannon, Huntington, Thomas, Grafton, Princeton and others – find that their most important tools are the attitudes and behaviors they bring to the work.
What are some these attitudes and behaviors?
• No negativity
An unrealistically positive attitude is necessary!
• Bring a solution when you bring a concern
You have to be part of the solution in your community – don’t expect someone else to “fix it” for you.
• Be open, inclusive and transparent
Including as many citizens of your community in the decision making process as possible brings more ideas, more energy, and more resources.
• Start locally, now!
Begin with the assets you have, focus on what you can do now, and begin doing it. You might be surprised at how it snowballs.
• Look forward, not back
Some folks think the future for their community is for it to be what it was 50 years ago. Unfortunately, you can’t drive a car by looking in the rearview mirror.
• Be kind, not nice
Being “nice” often results in not addressing real issues. Be honest and direct, but always do so kindly.
• Leave your personal agendas at the door
This is not about you, your organization or your business – it’s about the community. But rest assured – if you are successful at improving your community, chances are you will enhance your business and your life.
• Be patient, be persistent
Improving your community is long, slow work. Some of the communities referred to above have been doing focused community development for five or six years or longer, and they’re quick to admit they still have a long way to go.
When is the best time to plant a tree? 40 years ago. When is the second best time? Today!
Improving your community is similar. As CJ Rylands in Buckhannon likes to say, ”Do what you can, with what you have, where you are, now.” We think that’s terrific advice.
If you are looking to start something good in your community and would like to talk, send me an email. The Hub is here to help.