Q: What’s the best way to make a difference in a small town?

Posted June 13, 2018 at 5:00 am

A: What a great question. It brings me so much joy that people are actually sending questions. Please, keep them coming. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m having a good time!

I like that you’ve framed the question for small towns, because small towns offer something that cities do not. We’ll cover that later in the article. First, I’d like to reiterate the idea of inside-out. We must first take care of ourselves—mind, body, and spirit—if we are to have any success in our striving to make a difference. I know I’ve said it before, but its worth repeating, as it’s truly the foundation of all real change.

Let’s assume that we have those bases covered, and we are ready to take some action. The first question is this: what is your gift? What skill, talent, or passion do you have that could benefit others? We all have something. Mine happens to be a combination of unique life experience and communication skills. So, I find ways to communicate my life experience in a way that serves others. Writing this column and speaking to teenagers are a couple of examples. Start by asking yourself these questions. What’s my gift? How can I serve others?

Armed with your gift, we can now return to that special quality that a small town offers better than any other community: access. Access is the reason I’m writing this column. Only in a small town can a new resident walk into the local paper and suggest a column called Life Advice From a 30-Year-Old. The small town granted me access to a decision maker, and it could be the same for you.

The old saying, “Everybody knows everything,” is usually spoken in a negative context but I’d like to flip it. The more we know about our community members, the better we can serve them. We know when the lady down the street is having a tough time, or when our neighbor is out of town. Because of this, we can make more of a difference.

In summary, my advice is this: Take care of yourself first, find your gifts, take advantage of the access that a small town affords, and use your gifts to help others.

I’d like to wrap up with something fitting that Grandpa Bob said last week: “Everything you do….everything you say….it all makes a difference in your life. Maybe not tomorrow, but someday it will.”

Thanks for your question, looking forward to the next one!

Brendan.p.uhl@gmail.com

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