Shrink our scope. Focus on the smaller world around us, our Community.

In general, people are so attentive to national and global affairs. Both politically and socially. They are so attentive to these affairs, but seldom do they even know who their town Mayor is. Seldom do they know how the local college basketball team ranks, but they sure know how well their favorite NBA team is doing. They can find out in the paper or online how well Amazon stock is doing, but are they giving any attention to how well “Joe’s Farmers Market” is doing for business just down the road from them. Do they even shop at Joe’s?

This is most unfortunate for them because as it turns out, our local political/economic/social climate has more impact on our day to day lives than the national and global climates do. With that being said, should not our attention be divided accordingly.

With regard to politics, it’s our city council that manages the upkeep of our community (trash disposal, snow removal, etc), issues building permits, and decides school funding. They make the final decision on all the funding of local amenities we use every day. It is also worth mentioning that our votes matter more in local elections than national ones (as confirmed in the “Partisanship and Representation in Local Politics: New Evidence from Mid-Size U.S. Cities” where it states “city councils are even more powerful than Congress in terms of their ability to shape budgetary policy in the face of executive branch opposition,”), and the way they shape it completely depends on the political sides of the voters.

Shop local, when possible. More of our hard earned dollar goes to our community when we do so. This in turn makes for more jobs, more businesses, more opportunity, and just more prosperity overall. When we shop corporate, 45% or less of the money we spend goes back into our community. When we shop at small local businesses however, at least 65% of our dollar stays in our community. A difference of at least 20% is huge.

Socially …… be neighborly. In today’s culture, I am seeing mine, and others neighbors passing each other on the way to/from their homes with hardly an upward glance from their mobile devices to say “Hi.” These are the people physically closest to us, having a positive relationship with them could have enormous benefits. Unfortunately to many of us don’t know that, because we are attached to our devices and socializing with people miles away (not much benefit there). Neighbors that are neighborly lookout for each others property. They greet each other with big smiles in the morning to set off each others day on a positive note. They are an extra set of hands when we need help carrying groceries into the house. In the end, they are a potential convenient resource. Don’t have a rapport with our neighbors?? Halloween is coming up. No better time to break the ice.

Once we become more community oriented, and perhaps a little less “world spectator”, we discover a world that we can play a more active role in, and therefore get more fulfillment from; a larger world (ironically). A more real world.