Loving your Community. It is not just for Valentines Day!

Your community needs love every day.. Without it, it will never be the best it can be. After all, as long as you live there, you are "wedded to it." For Better or For Worse.

David Tbornell

2/15/20242 min read

I recently read an article about the top ten ways to be a great parent and was surprised at the number of recommendations that could just as well describe the way we should care for (raise) our community. As a matter of fact, all of the ways that were recommended to make a better parent or “caregiver” for our children can be put into action “as parents” of the place we call home.

You probably haven’t thought about being a parent for your community any more than George Washington ever thought he would someday be known as “the father” of our country, but your attitude and actions make it so. Just follow this list of tips that experts recommend when raising a child. However, for our purposes, where “child” had appeared in the original list, I will exchange the word “community.”

Number ten is to “love your community unconditionally.” This is fitting on this Valentines Day and every day. I’ve always stressed that to sell our community to others, whether prospective businesses, tourists or potential residents, we must first be sold on it ourselves. Not everything in our community is perfect but it is OUR community. Love it anyway. Accentuating the positives while working to eliminate the negatives is a challenge for all of us who love our community. Nobody should feel exempt from this challenge.

Number nine relates to the above as it states, “have faith in yourself and your community.” Realize that our community, although not perfect, can get better in whatever ways we have the confidence and determination to make it better. Taking action separates leaders from followers and translates into an active community. Number seven is to “communicate constructively.” This means, in the context of community, to be an informed citizen and to make your feelings known. Attend public meetings and be an activist for constructive change. Make good things happen rather than watching or letting things happen.

Skipping to number three we find “be a good model.” For your child, this means being a good role model as they are watching and learning from your attitude and actions. For your community this applies to the image we present to locals and outsiders who look to you as a local leader. Do we project pride in the appearance of the community and in our “can do” spirit? Do our local young people see that we care for the well-being of their community? Number two is to “make your community feel special.” With a child this means showing genuine interest, spending time with them, offering praise, and giving gifts. As a parent to the community, it means devoting time on community improvement projects, serving on a public board, running for office, donating to worthwhile community causes and any other ways that prove that your community is “special” to you.

Opportunities are abundant. Your responsibility is to choose a committee, board or project that interests you and GET INVOLVED! Just ask yourself, what do I want to see happen in my community? Then step up and “give birth” to that project, or “adopt” and improve upon an existing project.

SOOO, what is the number one recommendation for being a parent? This can also be valuable in how you relate to your extended family, your business, your community, and life. Number one is to “keep a positive attitude!” When you are tired, frustrated, or feeling defeated, don’t let it stop you from your heartfelt commitment to do your best work. Parenting is a long-term process, but raising the best child and-or community possible is well worth the effort you put in.