Community Responsibility

By: Kathleen Burk

Community Responsibility

Tags: Local support, Supporting a small community, responsibility in a small town,

Repeat after me: “Community Consumption is Responsibility” 

I hesitate in starting this first sentence, I find I am reaching for fact, but if fact is information without opinion I am reaching without success.  

To those of us who have chosen to live in a small community we have chosen to be a part of something extraordinary. Perhaps somewhat unbeknownst at first, but as the days of residency unfold and became weeks, then months and years it becomes obvious that we are now a part of a rich tapestry that is cohesive and interdependent, inextricably connected and full of offerings and blessings of community.  

Do you enjoy that community, do you care for that community, are you willing to nurture that community? Who will take on that responsibility if you choose not to care? If no one cares what will be left of community? Perhaps little, and in the absence of community, anonymity will take hold and the magic of community will fade. 

Here is where community consumption becomes responsibility. 

At the risk of offence, I ask you to no longer see LOCAL patronage as a passing fad or a momentary must use hash tag, I ask that you embrace LOCAL patronage and adhere to it as a responsibility, just the same as making your bed was as a child or seeing to the care of a younger sibling when needed. I implore you, as a consumer to shop at home, wherever that may be.  You see, this is a full circle, mass local patronage may in fact create mass local responsiveness by the vendors, and wouldn’t that make everything worthwhile? 

What is our responsibility as community consumers? I believe if a business asks for help we must help. I believe if you see a community startup venture and they ask for community help we must help. It is of little relevance what we think of a business or if we believe them to be purveyors of what we desire. It is a responsibility to extend support when support is needed within a community we love. You see small businesses have typically achieved success based on the level of community support they offer and extend, when they ask for some in return why would we not unconditionally oblige? 

Our businesses have a responsibility to the community in which they serve to offer goods at a fair price and if that is done, I believe the community has a responsibility to offer their patronage at a fair interval. If this is done in a small community then I ask you, will there still be a line of demarcation between local patronage and just being a responsible community member or are they now one in the same? 

You have a choice to act responsibly, I believe all community members need to revisit what it is they love about their community and do what is needed to ensure that the community thrives. That means being responsible for what you love whether you want to or not.  

Buy in, give your time, bid on an item, buy the jug of milk and hire the contractor. It is your responsibility. It is time for the human species to start asking “Where can I give back?” instead of “What are you going to do for me?”