In a Time Where Community Is Suppose to Rally, We’re Falling Apart.
I could feel my face tense the moment I saw his response was a paragraph and not a sentence. I didn’t even have read the post to find the word “Governor.” At that moment, I knew my community was in disarray.
We all like to play our own narrative as individual states, but together we all face a love-hate relationship with our elected officials. It’s the political season after all. Sometimes I like to pretend that living in rural America, I’m disconnected from the poison, but we’re not.
My community is small. You wave at cars passing by, whether they’re strangers or friends. We host one blinking light, a small grocery store, gas station, kids camp, post office, and park. There’s an Amish feed mill, family-owned greenhouse, and mechanic that work out of his home garage. To me, these are assets, making our community better by adding immediate value to our local population.
When I heard the area kids camp was suffering as a direct result of the pandemic, I stepped up to create a GoFundMe page with hopes of raising additional funds to support them. This year the camp is celebrating its 70th year of bringing kids from all over, for a week-long stay that provides the good ole fashioned social interaction they need and the friendship they crave. They welcome the weird, popular, socially awkward, and intelligent in an outdoor environment, encouraging their strengths and reinstilling the basics…like manners.
It’s a local gem I called upon my community to rally around. No one answered.
Instead, I was challenged with the basic sentiment of “a lot of great businesses are hurting, should we fund them all?” concluded with a political ramble to advocate for the removal of our governor instead.
I wish you could have shared in my facial expression. Often rural America is correlated with the “simple.” This is one of those times I’d have to agree. As a business owner himself, he couldn’t put aside his selfish views to see this was not a business supporting business. This was people supporting community.
When the pandemic initially hit, there was hopeful commentary that this may revive small community values. Has the isolation, protests, and politics derailed this simple sentiment? How is it still so easy to throw your dollars at political campaigns and national non-profits, but supporting the 20-mile radius surrounding you be out of the question?
I don’t know the answer. What I do know is governments fail regardless of their ability to admit it. It’s on us, the people, and always will be despite who is in what office, wearing whichever color they so choose. I’m heartbroken, but not defeated.
In this unusual time, how are you rallying to support your community?