Heroes didn't leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn't wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else's. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back."
-- Jodi Picoult, Second Glance
Earlier this week, I had the privilege of discussing some spirited thought on community activity with a close friend. As always, we bantered to the point of reminiscing childhood and young adult actions that occurred when the month of July brought the city together. Events like the Boy Scout-sponsored pancake breakfast, a 5K run, Little League All-Star games, the Liberty Days Parade, concerts in the amphitheater or simply enjoying the festive atmosphere in the park.
We concluded that the essence of activity yearned for by us was found in enjoying an unwavering 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.
The sole reason a city exists is to make life better. People establish residence in a neighborhood where they feel emotionally secure, personally invested, and have a sense of belonging in the overall community. An added bonus comes at many different levels when they 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 why their footprint should be planted in a particular city.
As people acknowledge the interdependence of an economically viable community, they recognize how local businesses depend on customers to support them on a continuing basis. By doing so, their purchases support the income of the people that 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 non-commercial level creates a sense of community that is deeper than the positive interactions that occur between shop owners and their many loyal customers.
Both create a hand-in-hand relationship.
Enjoy July and the hometown emotion it generates. The sense of community is fundamental to civic richness and economic vitality.
Steve Curtis has worked as a business consultant and communication specialist. He is currently mayor of Layton. He can be reached at email@example.com.