Monday, September 14, 2015

Small Town Development is a Quicker Path to Meaningful Work

One of the things that makes people happy is having meaningful work.  Developing a town is meaningful work.  Developing a small town gets you involved in meaningful work in which your personal impact is immediately apparent.

This weekend I got to travel with the Brown Fellows, Centre’s top scholarship group, to Paducah, KY.  We met with local do-gooders and busybodies (my kind of people).  They helped turn their historic, but derelict, Lower Town into a magnet for artists, especially quilters.  Little Paducah, KY, population 25,000, was designated a UNESCO Creative City.

Most interesting to me was how just a few dedicated people could make a difference.  One local woman, who had worked in big cities and foreign countries, said that one of the things that drew her back to her hometown was the chance to make a visible difference quickly.


Barry said...

I am happy that these efforts have been successful in Paducah. However these eforts are often not easy, and they frequently meet with opposition. This year, my recently retired wife has embarked on a project to try to get the sidewalk system improved in our small town of 4000. She spend much time at city hall reading the minutes from over 30 years of council meetings. This work raised concern and suspicion from the mayor. She discovered several instances of failed arrempts and forfeited sidewalk grants in the past. At her presentation at the past coucil meeting, she was treated rudely by the mayor. However, she has formed a committee, sanctioned by the city coucil, and she is determined to get success. These efforts usually take determination.

Gruntled said...

Great- that is what it takes. Maybe she should run for mayor.

ceemac said...

Glad you are back posting on a frequent basis. Did you have Theory Camp this summer? You did not post about any of the readings.

Curious about your designation of Paducah as a "small town." When I think of small town I think of less than 1000 residents. I know folks who grew up in small towns in southern Illinois. A trip to Paducah was a trip to the "big city" back then in the 60's.

Gruntled said...

Yes, Ceemac, I decided to write every day possible, limiting myself to 140 words. This requires less certainty that I have a large, completed thought, which was slowing me down before.

I would let small town go up to 50K. Even Lexington, which is about 250K, isn't really a city, but is a large town.