A new year brings a great refreshing wind with it.
Turning the calendar to January gives us all the excuse we need to put the challenges of the previous year behind us and look ahead to new and better opportunities.
So it is with our communities. The impending new year gives us an opportunity to redouble our efforts to make the place we call home an even better place to live and work.
It is a chance to commit ourselves to greater volunteerism, a broader participation in our community. It is a time for local government leaders to think long and hard about what they can do to break out of the status quo and bring more growth, more amenities, more efficiencies to our towns.
Whatever your role in your community – whether you are an elected leader, a taxpayer or simply a consumer of services – the next few days give you time to contemplate how you can be an asset to the community.
Of course, we realize not everyone will do this. Too many of us are happy to live our own lives, oblivious to the things that go on around us until they hit us in the pocketbook. Then we scream like a stuck hog.
Such things, of course, wouldn’t happen if we were all active participants in our community’s daily life.
Make use of the public library. Attend a town function, whether it’s a local government meeting or a festival. Shop in the local stores and meet the shopkeepers who employ your friends, neighbors and children. Listen attentively as people talk about what’s happening around you. Ask people in a position to effect change to be aggressive in doing so.
We’ve seen communities where a great number of people are invested and committed to their communities.
As our towns become bedrooms to the bigger Raleigh, we risk the loss of our identities. Involved people won’t let that happen. If your community matters to you as more than just a place to lay your head at night, find a way, as the calendar turns to a new year, to be one of those involved, invested people. You’ll find, this time next year, that as you look back on 2016, that it will have been a very good year.