We have a new rural super-hero-power 

I’m thinking out loud here. I think this is one of our small town advantages that no one knows about. We’re more connected to prior generations. 

Being connected to prior generations is a chance to gain a perspective into a way of life and a set of values that is different from your parents. Not that the old way is better or worse, but it is different and that difference is valuable. 

That connection to a prior generation is like a secret super power. People who are lucky enough to have had a connection with even older generations are even more powerful.  

For example, Donna Marie Johnson from Indie Biz Network told me about spending summers in the 1970s with her grandparents. They had no TV, no phone and no running water. That’s a big generation jump. She learned a lot. She attributes at least a portion of her entrepreneurial skills to watching those grandparents work hard and do as many different businesses as it took to make a living. 

My husband is another example, a late-in-life child to a father born in 1907. My husband spent a lot of time with his grandparents who were born in the 1880s. Most of his generation had parents born in the 1940s and grandparents from the 1910s.My husband grew up knowing a lot of things his peers didn’t. He gained so much from their perspective. 

Of course, time marches on. Those 1880s grandparents are all long since gone. But the generation-skipping power is still there. And in small towns, if your kids’ own grandparents aren’t around, you have a much better chance of connecting them with some friendly local folks who remember phones with dials and the times before everyone owned a TV. It’s a valuable perspective. 

Go listen to my latest interview with Donna Maria. She explains more about her own story and how “no toilet” is a metaphor for the hardest times you’ve been through. 

Here’s the plan: 

  • Make a point of asking questions to the oldest people you meet this week.
  • Then make an even bigger point of shutting your mouth and taking time to really listen. 

You can shape the future of your community, 

PS – My compadres at Tourism Currents put together a simple framework to make your destination, attraction, or hotel more find-able, both online and off

Last thought for this week from Kevin DeShazo who said on Twitter
“Don’t fight against those across from you. Fight for those next to and behind you.”