Know Your Locale

We all believe we understand the area in which we live. Some of us have lived there all of our lives, and some might have lived there just a few years. Often, it does not matter how long we have lived in a place, what matters is how often we get out and engage our local community and surroundings. Failure to do so might leave us surprised by how the landscape has changed, and so have the people.

It’s no mystery how this happens, times change, new stores, malls, and other industries move in, and changes are made to what people do and how they do it.  If we are not an active part of that community, we will not know about the changes. We may see something on the news or read something in the paper, however, we will not know the actual extent and how it affects us.

I can attest to this first hand. I recently took a Nielsen survey where it asked me about several places in my town, and the last time I was there. The more I got into the questionnaire, the more I realized how sedentary I had become, and how little I had been out within my community over the Last year (or several.)   

If we close ourselves off and do not participate in our community, we genuinely have a loss of many valuable resources. Through participation in our local community and civic affairs, we actually have a better quality of life and a better understanding of the changes and how they may best work in our favor. Without this interaction, we know less about others, and they know less about us.

When you are an active part of your community, you know who you can count on and how you’re needs could be best met. Even more important people know that you are there. A formal or informal structure seems to happen where people check on each other and make sure they’re OK. The community is stronger because of these links. And life is more comfortable and more enjoyable for more of the city.

After all, if we’re going to live life, we might as well work as a team with those who are doing the same and work to mutually enjoy it.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Good or Bad

No person makes it by themselves. The poets and the singers got it right.

It is incredible, when we think of it, that for all the foibles and failures in our society, we actually function best with a community. As a matter of fact, lack of community only serves to stunt our ability to grow and do better. Although I focus on emotional growth and growth of knowledge, health and physical well-being are also often compromised.

A community is not for sissies. Just like Yin and Yang, there are positives and negatives in anything. Being part of a community is no exception. You will find much good in interacting with others, sharing, and learning as you grow within the community. At the same time, you do open yourself up to emotional pain. You find yourself open to some negative people. And not everything that you learn will turn out to be true.

This does not mean we’re better off walling ourselves off from the community. For good within the community far outweighs the bad. What we need to do, is to go into the community as I believe one great person put it, “as gentle as lambs, and is wary as wolves.”

The real trick is to absorb everything you can and then weigh it. Do your research to know what’s true or not. And, do your considerations to understand the meeting of what you have learned and whether it is good or bad based on the morals of the community, and more importantly within your framework of right and wrong within life. Only then, do you really know if this knowledge is relevant, accurate, and helpful.

Utilize and grow with the right and confident knowledge. Do not dismiss or flush out of your system the false and harmful knowledge. Instead, keep a file in your mind of things that are negative or untrue. Having the record on hand helps you from having to relearn or possibly remaking the same mistakes.

Community

Lately, it seems the country is caught between floods and fires. Here in the Springs, we had terrible smoke and haze on Sunday from the fires in California Oregon, and even locally in Woodland Park. Monday, we had heavy afternoon storms that caused some of the worst flooding in the last few years. The water came down Ute pass and through Manitou Springs.

The mess left from hail, which was more than ankle-deep, and the gunk from the stream overflowing, brought the small tourist town to a standstill. The next morning civic togetherness was in full demonstration as many people in town showed up to help clean up the mess. It would take a few days to get the Town back up and running again. And, of course, the loss due to property damage and lack of tourist trade will set the town back.

The most helpful thing to come from this is the fact that even with the property damage, interruptions to routines, and loss of business, the entire community came together to help each other and clean up the mess. The town stood together to ensure everyone was safe and could recover from this devastation. Manitou Springs once again is a positive role model of a southwestern community.

This is one more occurrence that makes me step back and ask myself, “What have I done for others lately?”