Living in a small community |

Living in a small community

“The nice thing about living in a small town or community is that when I don’t know what I’m doing, everyone else does,” original author unknown. In fact, I’ve learned many things about my business from others who actually had no clue. When my husband and I sold our cattle herd to our older son, I heard from two different people in town, folks who didn’t even know each other, that we had retired and were moving to town. I was certainly surprised about that news. It made me wonder two things: where did the rumor come from and why wasn’t I informed? I hadn’t even shopped for a home or started to sort and pack my household goods. We weren’t moving to town, our lives hadn’t changed, minus the cows, and farming went on as usual. I also wondered how we became so interesting to others.

Small towns are the perfect environment in which to teach your youngsters about helping others. Instead of complaining the kids have nothing to do, help them get acquainted with their neighbors. Perhaps they will discover the neighbor bakes the best cookies they’ve ever tasted. The young people might then realize the neighbor has mobility problems and can’t do some chores she used to accomplish on her own. Maybe his windows need to be washed. He can do the inside if someone else could do the outside. As the neighbor and the youth begin to work together, she regales with stories of times gone by. This brings the young person closer to learning real history, they have fun together, and get the work done. Cookies are always a reward and they may lead to cooking lessons. Kids don’t always have to be paid in money. If they learn these lessons well, empathy and caring will follow. Believe it or not, some people cannot afford to pay helpers. Others can and will. The learning experiences far outweigh monetary pay.

Living in a small town means youngsters can have freedom to go where their legs or bicycles will take them until they are old enough to drive. A high school friend says he used to ride his bike four miles, while carrying his .22 rifle through town so he could go to an area to shoot his gun. On the other hand, I’ve known teens in the past who lived a quarter of a mile from their work and insisted that their parents drive them even on perfect weather days. The difference between the two is the realization of independence of the student and the trust of the caretaker, versus the manipulation of the teen over the parents and the unwillingness of the parent to insist on a modicum of self-reliance.

Small towns also can bring you to the realization that you may find yourself in organizations with those of whom you vehemently disagree on some subjects. You have to decide if you want to put your heart into the work of the organization and not discuss the conflicting areas, or to not participate in the organization because “that person” is in the group.

You can also actually do some good in a small community. The choice is yours.


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