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.