ord sunshine pumpers

life in rural nebraska

Positive Change = Thriving Community

with 3 comments

Bussell Park TreesI posted an entry about 6 mos. ago that looked at institutional community positivity as the main indicator of community vitality.  In that piece, I said:

The formula for this success varies by each community, but you can boil it down to one overriding theme: positive change. Positive change grows from a concept in positive psychology – how strength and virtue enable individuals and communities to thrive.

If you think I’m ignoring many of the negative aspects of our community, you’d be right. I don’t see a reason to focus on deficiencies that fail to add value to the future of our community, just as negativity doesn’t add quality to an individual’s life.

Looks like I was right on the mark.  The Daily Yonder has an interesting piece (take liberty to draw parallels to our community) that looks at the characteristics of thriving small communities (emphasis mine):

It turns out that thriving towns make their own fun and they encourage newcomers to join in. It’s not a question of money. Thriving towns have thriving cultures.

Areas where residents believe their community is thriving have more participation in local groups. In these places, there’s a sense there that people would get behind projects and get them done.

Thriving places were more remote.

Towns where people were less happy and less satisfied were closer to cities. They were places where residents commuted longer distances to work (most likely to that nearby city). Incomes were higher because people were earning city wages, but there was a sense that “people were just living in a place.”   There was less community.

Sounds a lot like Ord to me…

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Written by Caleb

August 11, 2009 at 2:44 pm

3 Responses

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  1. […] leave a comment » A recent article on the Farm Bureau blog had me thinking back to my days growing up on our family farm in Nehawka, Nebraska.  The article muses on the national media’s amazement over a farming community’s effort to help a stricken farmer harvest his crops.  What is evident to me is that the national media is shocked (shocked I say!) to find evidence of community in places they often ignore.  In fact, I’d wager to bet that when the said media outlet’s entire journalistic focus trends toward “If it bleeds, it leads“, your slant might affect your ability to comprehend the positive power of community good. […]

  2. […] one simple phenomenon:  positive change.  We’ve written about the impact of positive change here, here and here.  The infectious attitude is prevalent wherever you look.  We are lucky to be in a […]

  3. […] failure and the culture of fear that it breeds.  What’s interesting, is that it plays into a conversation we started months ago about positive psychology and the success it brings to communities.  Turns out it may not be that […]


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