How do you learn more about the area where you live? Get involved. How do you help support a cause you care about? Get involved. How do you make an impact? Get involved. We all know it…but how do you get started? And when? We’re all busy, right? How do we carve out the time to do more, learn more, participate more? It’s hard.
Take the first step. Keep your ears open. Listen for an easy opportunity to attend one meeting. Get started. You don’t have to commit to joining a board or being on a committee or raising money. Go to one meeting and participate. Let your voice be heard. Share your input and thoughts.
I recently participated in brainstorming session for the city where our office is located. The goal was to get different stakeholders-business owners and employees, residents, government, and education involved in sharing ideas on what the priorities should be for the city to focus on. Commercial growth? Beautification? Redevelopment? Branding? Residential development? Over 60 people came together to brainstorm and share thoughts and ideas on priorities, share input and suggest things that had been successful “back in the day”.
There was a new resident who attended. He didn’t know much about the city. He has lived here for 2 years but hadn’t gotten involved yet. He heard about the opportunity and felt it was the right time to get started. At first he felt that he didn’t have much to contribute because he didn’t have much experience with the town and didn’t know its history. But as we solicited his feedback it was great to hear from someone newer to the area. Why he’d drive to another town to eat and have no problem walking, but the expectations in our city was that parking needed to be right next door. Why?
He had thought about getting involved…and found an opportunity to share his feedback, meet new people, and learn more about his community. I’m not sure what his next steps will be, but he has a better understanding of the area, the process and ideas for growth. He feels differently about his community and will look at things through a new lens.
It was great to hear the different perspectives and be part of something bigger. Tell us about how you got involved in something new in the comments.