Community culture needs continuing care and support

For many people who live here, Floyd presents an outstanding opportunity. We get to live and work in a community that is still small enough so we can know most people by sight and large enough that we have room for a variety of personalities and lifestyles.

One of the notable things about Floyd for Gretchen and I has been the incredible level of hospitality shown to us by those who arrived before us or who have lived here all their lives.

Since we were welcomed and assisted by families that have lived in this region for multiple generations, we felt impelled to offer the same support to newcomers in our turn. In addition, we feel a continuing obligation to support the community in every way possible.

We have seen here a remarkable incidence of socially-motivated people who view service as a normal part of existence. I am not sure how it came about, but it seems to be part of the local culture and I want to do everything possible to preserve and support that kind of culture.

I know from personal experience that some amazing and pro-survival cultures have come apart quite swiftly when they were not defended and cared for.

A culture is based on the informal agreements of the people involved. As new people move into an area, they bring new ideas of what a desirable culture should be. If the existing group actively recruits these new settlers, these new people become part of the group and strengthen it with new ideas that are tempered by the experience of the existing group. They also strengthen the existing community by exchanging services and support.

Community cultures, like corporate cultures, are more fragile than they appear. When new  community leaders or corporate leaders appear, they can damage a culture beyond repair by instituting changes to make the existing culture resemble some other model that has some flashy benefits but serious problems. This also can happen when there are a vast number of unassimilated new settlers.

As long as a person’s worth is measured by their contribution to the group, things will stay pretty sane and progress will occur. When some set themselves up as superior beings because their families were here first or are related to someone important, bad things happen and unfortunate divisions appear in the community.

When someone considers themselves better than others because they are a "native" or even because they are a "newcomer", the proper question to ask is what has that person done for Floyd lately?

Those that seek to create divisions between people because of their racial, cultural or political differences are afraid that if anyone were to take a close look at them their personal shortcomings would be immediately visible.

Fortunately, these people are in a minority, but their behavior should not go unnoticed or unmentioned. Floyd is a "Live and Let Live" community, but when someone is trying to foment dissension through hateful messages, this person is factually trying to destroy the culture that has made Floyd so desirable.

The real test of a person is what are they doing for others and for the community, not who their parents were or where they came from. I think that anyone that tells you different needs to be watched as that person is working against the culture that makes Floyd special.

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0 Responses to Community culture needs continuing care and support

  1. Rick Parrish says:

    I bet you’ve been reading Doug’s blog recently! You are right on the money in summing up the kind of welcome that seems to be the norm in Floyd (fortunately). After a while, we take these things for granted but when you think about it, it’s quite a phenomenon. Every so often you’ll hear or see something to the contrary but that only makes you appreciate the bigger picture even more. Add in a “pass it on” attitude like your own and we can create a “movement” that reaches far beyond Floyd. It’s that kind of idea that brought me into the Rotary Club (first in Blacksburg, now in Floyd). The Rotary motto is “Service Above Self” and while it may sound like a sacrifice, the emotional and spiritual return of living that motto is impossible to measure. Thanks for your thoughts on the subject!

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