Our View: The good and bad life

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Life in a smaller community can be great.

You can walk into a grocery store and know many of the people walking down the aisles, as well as the family life of the person who checks you out.

There are plenty of business opportunities and chances to succeed.

There is a feeling of safety that one may not have in bigger cities.

And, in Craig, nature is in your backyard.

Perhaps, ironically, the strengths listed above also are drawbacks.

Everyone knows you - or, at least, everyone thinks they know you - and it is not unheard of for people to jump to conclusions. For example, someone may have a barley pop at a resturant, and if he or she might be labeled a drunk.

Although there are plenty of business opportunities, there also are plenty of hurdles, from social politics to anxiety about how many businesses a smaller community can support.

The feeling of safety can easily be shattered each time we see another shooting in a small town, or if we let the town's fearmongers do what they do best - create fear.

And although nature is in your backyard, it also can mean losing a garden to the niblings of wildlife, or it can mean trying to navigate past deer roaming the city streets.

Of the pros and cons listed, the good and the bad comes down to this: How we interact with each other.

Yes, there is comfort in knowing so many people and a feeling of safety in that, but it also can be frustrating when the rumor mill kicks into high gear, as it often seems to do.

Our interactions too frequently limit and put others into generalized boxes - he is teacher, she is a firefighter, he is a politician - and we feel comfortable addressing people in this aspect alone.

If we see a city council member out with his family, do we have any qualms about talking about city issues? Is there a time frame when they should be free from listening to residents' complaints, such as during a family dinner?

Do we sometimes forget that politicians are parents? Is it possible business leaders may not always want to talk business? Can a teacher ever slip away from his or her role in the public's eye?

Can we ever move past what our job titles state?

Yes and no.

When one signs up for a public position, he or she signs up for a certain amount of the spotlight. This spotlight can be magnified in a smaller town, because, as one editorial board member stated, leaders in smaller communities often become pseudo celebrities.

This is to be expected.

And this can be good. It's nice to know that if you have a problem, it can be addressed quickly.

But it can be bad, leaving some feeling like they are living under a microscope.

Which brings us back to the good aspect of living in a smaller community - a sense of understanding.

Understanding that we should not view each other just by our job titles. That we are more than those - more than someone might see in a snippet of time.

That we are more of the good that comes with living in a smaller community than not.

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