Editorial: Building Wonderful

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In the heart of our small town, where every face is familiar and each story interwoven with another, there lies a powerful yet often overlooked virtue: the ability to support and uplift each other rather than succumb to the ease of criticism. As Anne Frank once wisely said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” This sentiment rings especially true in our close-knit community, where each action and word can ripple through our streets, touching lives in ways we might never fully comprehend.

Community cheerleaders see potential everywhere. They mentor, help, and encourage others and in doing so, lift us all higher.

In recent times, there’s been a noticeable trend, not just in our town but globally, where people quickly jump on the bandwagon of criticism, especially over trivial matters. It’s become increasingly common to ‘pile on’ when others are critical, often without fully understanding the situation or considering the impact of such negativity. This behavior not only tarnishes the spirit of community but also stifles the growth and enthusiasm of those daring to venture into new territories or those simply trying to do good.

Contrast this with the uplifting power of support and encouragement. When we choose to cheer on new ventures, to be kind, and to help build stronger communities, we create an environment where innovation, creativity, and compassion flourish. As Helen Keller aptly put it, “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” This is especially true in a small town like ours, where collective effort and mutual support are not just ideals, but necessities for communal growth and well-being.

The danger of thriving on criticism and tearing others down is manifold. First, it creates an atmosphere of fear and hesitation. People become afraid to express new ideas or take initiatives, worried they will become the next target of a group’s criticism. This fear stifles creativity and hampers progress. Small towns, with their limited resources and opportunities, cannot afford this loss of potential.

Second, constant criticism erodes trust and weakens the bonds that hold communities together. In a place where everyone knows each other, harsh words and undue criticism don’t just evaporate; they linger in the air, creating rifts and breeding resentment. This can turn neighbors into strangers and friends into foes, damaging the very fabric of community life.

On the other hand, being supportive of risk takers and cheering on those trying to do good can have profoundly positive effects. It can inspire others to act, encourage a culture of innovation and risk-taking, and most importantly, it can help foster a community spirit that values and respects each individual’s contribution. Such an environment not only nurtures personal growth but also strengthens communal bonds.

Moreover, in being supportive and kind, we set a powerful example for the younger generations. They learn the value of collaboration over competition, of constructive feedback over destructive criticism. This education in empathy and community-building is perhaps the most significant legacy we can leave for the future stewards of our town.

The choice between being critical or supportive might seem trivial in the moment, but its impact is far-reaching.

Let us choose to be the community that lifts others up, that cheers on new ventures, and that values kindness and support over criticism and negativity. Let us be the town where each person feels valued, where every effort is recognized, and where together, we build a stronger, more compassionate community. As we move forward, let us carry with us the words of Anne Frank and Helen Keller, allowing their wisdom to guide us in creating a community that not only thrives but also sets an example of unity and support.

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