When you’re trying to make a positive difference in your rural place, it can feel like you’re the only one in the world.
This week, I heard from Triona Walsh, in Roscrea, Co Tipperary in Ireland. She’s there on a temporary post as an “Animator”, charged with making big changes and building the capacity of the people. She’s struggling to get someone local to step up and own a website project. And she’s feeling very much alone.
She’s not alone. Denny from Ashley, North Dakota, is feeling some of the same challenges. Daryl Ann Kyle at Cedar Mountain Farm struggles, too. And Mike Alonzo in Superior, Arizona. Many of you! It’s just that you don’t see the others like yourself.
Rural just means we’re spread out, Luther Snow says. So we have to do things like this newsletter to reach each other.
Just today, @SmallTownAUS pointed out a young woman named Eleanor Sear doing her undergraduate dissertation on revitalizing the small towns in the Australian Outback. Her emphasis is not on forcing big changes, but rather on emphasizing strengths and building on our legacy.
One person can change the trajectory of a small town. That’s one of the advantages of being rural. Often, it’s one person who has an outside perspective. Maybe they just moved to town. Or maybe they lived other places, or maybe they travel and do business in other places so they see more than their own back yard. But an outside perspective really seems to help.
How are you moving the trajectory of your small town? I’d love to hear about what you’re trying. Or hit reply and just say hello. We may be spread out, but we know how to connect.
PS – if you’d like more tourism info each month, you might like our Tourism Currents newsletter on social media marketing for tourism. I’m an occasional contributor, and Sheila Scarborough and Leslie McLellan are the regular authors.