In traveling, whether it be just in my town or across the country, I get to see and get the feel of a community, the highs and the lows.
I’ve been wondering about civic pride. As I think back over time, it seems there was a time when politicians, businesses, and citizens, cared about their communities. It was a matter of pride to get pot holes filled, litter picked up, and downtowns full of businesses.
Now, you walk down the street of any city or town, no matter the size, and will see graffiti, trash all about, and too many boarded and closed businesses. In driving around, there are potholes galore, parking lots falling apart, and businesses looking dingy.
Is this because we have to come to expect less of our collective selves? Have we become numb to how much things are falling apart? Are we so caught up in profits over everything else? Do we think we can’t do anything about it, so we’ve resigned ourselves to it being it is what it is.
How do we turn this around?
We can bring civic pride back for politicians by voting and holding them to account each and every day.
We can bring civic pride back for ourselves by doing just one thing, and then one thing, and then one thing, until it becomes a habit to help our communities look and be better.
It is businesses, that for me, are the most challenging. We could take our dollars elsewhere, but the look and attitude of national brands seems to be everywhere—profits over people. Buying online doesn’t help because those business have no ties at all to where we live.
Maybe that is the answer, fewer box stores and online entities, and more homegrown businesses. Then profits and investments stay local and owners are usually invested in their communities.
My hope is civic pride makes a comeback, and soon.