You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.
— Erma Bombeck
Earlier this week I had the privilege of interacting with a close friend who, together with me, often engages in discussions that are inspired with thought-provoking ideas on a sense of community. As always, we volleyed from subject to subject to the point of reminiscing about our childhood and young adult days when the Fourth of July brought the city together with events like the pancake breakfast, 5K run, Little League All-Star games, the parade or simply enjoying the festive atmosphere in the park.
We summarized that the essence of what we were yearning for was the need for all to enjoy a sense of community. The logic of belonging brings a sense of identity and develops prosperity as a result of the comfort in the quality of life that is being offered.
People become members of a community when they feel emotionally secure, personally invested and have a sense of belonging to that community. An added bonus comes at many different levels when residents are rewarded for their participation.
All of this brings together a financially viable municipality.
Economic prosperity comes into play as businesses focus on a variety of reasons their footprint should be planted in any particular city.
People need to be able to acknowledge the interdependence of an economically viable community. Businesses depend on their customers to support them on a continuing basis. By doing so, their purchases support the income of the people who work within the metropolitan area.
Also, beautiful park settings, baseball, softball and soccer fields, amphitheaters, swimming pools, splash pads and other public settings can generate or restore a deep sense of community by providing people places to socialize and interact with each other.
Social interaction on a noncommercial level creates a sense of community that is deeper than the positive interactions that occur between shop owners and their loyal customers.
Both create a hand-in-hand relationship.
Enjoy the holiday and the hometown feeling it generates. The sense of community is fundamental to civic richness and economic vitality.
Steve Curtis is mayor of Layton. He can be reached at email@example.com