What makes a community?

Saturday, January 6, 2018

What is a community?

If you look in the dictionary youíll find many definitions and descriptive words such as a group of people living together in one place, a brotherhood, solidarity, a feeling of fellowship with others.

Do we have that here?

I believe we do.

Since moving here Iíve witnessed many examples of community.

Folks coming together to cheer on the hometown team, first responders assisting one another in neighboring towns, and people donating to worthwhile organizations and causes.

Thatís community.

Gathering together on Sunday morning to worship.

Thatís community.

Visiting over a meal and supporting our local restaurants.

Thatís community.

Shopping locally to boost our economy.

Thatís community.

Offering our children the opportunity to attend school from kindergarten to college right here at home.

Thatís community.

Our community is very much like a family.

Sure we have our problems and at times can be quite dysfunctional, but let one of us fall ill and see how fast we all rally to them.

Thatís what makes a community great.

Recently an article was shopped around social media that depicted our area poorly to say the least.

It offered lots of graphs and stats on our little corner of the Bootheel indicating in their opinion we were a dying town.

Like the family I mentioned earlier though, residents from near and far contacted me coming to the defense of our community.

Many from Kennett spoke on our schools, our community garden, and so many other positive aspects we offer.

People from as far away as Iowa and North Dakota called me.

Ex-residents coming to our aid, extolling the wonderful memories and fondness they had for the area.

Thatís community.

What makes a community?

Is it a collection of depressing stats and dreary photos?

I donít think so.

Itís the welcome you get when you enter the grocery store, the handshakes and hugs at church.

Itís the wave as youíre driving down the street, and the sense of safety knowing you live in a place where somebody is going to come to the aid of a stranger.

A place where an outsider from northern Illinois can move and become the editor of your local paper.

Thank God for this community.

Hopefully instead of dying, weíre just getting started.

See you out there.

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