Stephanie Pearce: Clean-up from the inside out
April 7, 2013
I've been noticing the articles about the trash, and Craig clean-up days will be coming around the bend. I've been thinking about this community clean-up and I think it's a great idea. Our communities should be beautiful, but it's just like with a person; first impressions are great, but if the inside of a person is awful, the outside becomes just as unappealing. Our community can appear the same way. Luckily, our community is pretty awesome, but it has led me to think about how we can spruce up our community in ways not normally thought of.
I would love to see more people get back to courtesies that were common when I was growing up. Sometimes, it seems that we are so busy, that we are forgetting some and forgetting to teach our children.
For instance, when I was a kid, we knew everyone on our street. We even visited the elderly lady across the street on a regular basis (I'm not sure if she enjoyed it or not, but we did it, anyway).
When we lived in town, I knew the people directly next to me and directly across the street, and a couple several houses away, but I never went out of my way to get to know my neighbors. The sad thing is I lived there for 10 years. How about we start there? How about next time you see a neighbor you don't know well, you smile and wave. Make an effort to get to know them. We live in such a tech-driven world that sometimes we forget how much having a real conversation can positively affect someone.
When going into a building, hold the door for someone and smile. I actually had a young man do this for me the other day, so it's not a lost art, but a reminder once in a while never hurts. It did make me feel good to see.
When you are being served by someone like a cashier or a waiter/waitress, be nice to them, and if they are doing a good job, tell them. People in these fields deal with many people all day and sometimes that one customer who tells them they do a great job can make their entire day. In turn, it can make them do an even better job because they feel appreciated.
The other day, I was at the store and a lady was having trouble getting a product off the shelf. There were two people who walked by her as I was walking toward her. I asked if she needed help and she smiled and said, "Yes, please." I helped her and I'm sure she was happy, and in the end, it gave me a great feeling.
I'm not complaining about our community by any means. I love it here and I know there are a lot of people who already do these things. Our community is fantastic with helping those in need, and I am proud to say I am from here. I just want to make people aware.
Little things go a long way and actions like these are what make people love a community. It always helps that the outside is pretty, but ultimately, it's the people in the community who make others fall in love with it, too.