Saturday, June 5, 2010

Small Community pro et contra

I had a talk with a friend the other day. She was telling me about her afterschool program. Then we talked about life in a small community and how great and not so great it is. Here are some of my Pros and Cons of living in a small community.

Cons of living a small community:
  • Everyone knows your story.
  • Sometimes people who know your story will add to it.
  • New residents feel like an outsider.
  • Residents are suspicious of new people and new ways.
  • You need extra time to drive anywhere on the winding roads.
  • Drivers are not in a hurry.
  • Farm equipment is often your road mate.
  • Everyone waves -all the time.
  • No anonymity in public places.
  • Fewer job opportunities.
  • Fewer extracurricular opportunities.
  • No public transportation.
Pros of living in a small community:

  • You are treated like a rock star in spite of your mistakes.
  • Everyone knows your business which helps- when you need help.
  • Shirts come off backs when there is a need.
  • Money leaves pockets when there is a need.
  • Residents believe they DO accept outsiders.
  • Faith is contagious and meaningful. 
  • Church socials have the best food in the world.
  • Since everyone knows your story, there’s no explaining to do.
  • The slower pace provides more time to experience life.
  • When it’s time to cry, you aren’t alone.
  • Need a ride? Ask a neighbor.

The rural significance of experiencing the good and bad of  living in a rural community is that the cons of are mostly annoyances, whereby, the pros are often soulful, useful and endearing.

Photo: My mother, brother and cousin Bobby.

Children are watched over by the community and never realize it until they are grown. Needs are met without asking. Property is guarded when you're not available.

When tragedy strikes a community person or the world, the rural community is one of the first to be on the scene.  The rural or small community's importance to a person's life is far reaching.

Question: Right where you are (city or rural, large or small), what is your take on your community?


Mason Canyon said...

Small communities do have so much to offer without us really realize it. One thing you touched on that is so true is when tragedy strikes in a small community, those people pull together no matter if they had an argument yesterday over something. That problem will wait, that person needs help now.

Thoughts in Progress

lakeviewer said...

We now live in a small community, a major change from the big city we came from. The pros far outweigh the cons. However, a major con is lack of jobs. So, few young people can hang around. These communities are becoming ghost towns.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I love these! I think you've outlined the pros and cons really well.

One of the reasons I like using small towns in my books is because everyone knows everyone else...good, bad, and ugly! Great potential for both conflict and fun.

Mary Aalgaard said...

My rural community, growing up years, was just like what you describe. When a farmer was sick with cancer, the neighbors formed a harvesting crew to do the job for him. Today, I live in a medium-sized community which feels smaller every year. I've seen the same outreach. We're a tourist area, so we have a love-hate for outsiders.

Mattenylou said...

I've watched my small rural farming town grow to a small city in my lifetime. I miss what it was, but enjoy the perks of its busyness now, it offers so much today.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Teresa .. community should be the centre of our life - things would be easier .. we could all offer help to society and improve things - if we town planned that way .. it would help.

We all need to be prepared to be involved .. and help out - bringing everyone together ..

Good thoughts .. Hilary

Angie said...

I agree with the pros and the cons. I live in town now instead of the country, and I miss it.

There's just a sense of "home", living in a small community.