Today I wrote an article for my local newspaper. In light of all the world events lately from Covid-19 to looting, rioting, and politics being front and center; we still live and work in our own communities. We might not be touched by what those bigger cities are going through in a personal manner, however the issues are pertinent to all of us. Life as we've known it has changed. We are still discovering the new normal; it's evolving and with it will come change and becoming more insightful. I will go out on the limb however and say it's certainly not all one way or the other; we all need personal reflection.
Eastern SD is already seeing some of the changes. People are moving out of the cities and we believe some businesses will follow. Is your community ready for change? Are you open to it? Do we even know how to be or get ready? Sometimes it takes a whole lot of money, leadership, and time to make some of the necessary changes. However, there are some things we all can do:
First, find someone that recently moved into your community for whatever reason. Then ask them:
1) How has their relocating into the community gone?
Were the locals friendly? Welcoming? Have you noticed any bias'? Is there anything as a community that could be improved on?
2) Did the neighbors welcome you? Are we guilty of not practicing "neighboring" anymore? Do we take the time to be a neighbor or know them by name?
3) Has anyone invited you to get involved or invited you to attend/join an organization or church? Or reached out and given you a list of organizations, or resources for them?
4) Do you have a welcome basket that is given to new residents? A few communities I've lived in, our Chamber did it personally. You want to be known as a welcoming community? It starts with you.
On a funny note I cannot help but add "A Do Not DO": please don't stare or stop the conversation when someone new walks into a church, business, or bar that you've never seen before! Turn back if you're not willing to go up and introduce yourself. Many of us have experienced silent stares in person.
I cannot stress it enough to welcome newcomers, or those returning who once grew up in your community. We're all going to benefit in some manner. Now is the time, people.
Let's Step It Up,
Travel Backroads Began 3 years ago in June!!
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