One of my favorite quotes goes like this: “The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.”
There are two parts to this quote that I’d like to reflect on. First, that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. It’s easy to move our focus away from all the good stuff and fixate on the bad. I have often said that I have a great job because I always get to hear people from out of town comment on how lovely our community is, how surprised they are, how much is going on here compared to other towns, how friendly everyone is. It supplies me with multiple opportunities each week to appreciate Appanoose County and keep a positive attitude. I also have the good fortune of working with awesome volunteers who have amazing vision.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t things that need to be improved. There’s always something that we can and should do better. Because, as the next part of the quote alludes to, we need to “water our grass.” All the time. This is the responsibility of everyone. So take a moment ask yourself, “Have I watered the grass in my town lately?”
How do we water our grass? Do we make lists about what should be done and then expect someone else to do them? There are a couple problems with this. Sometimes we make that list so long that people get discouraged, and nothing gets done. Let’s decide to do one or two things. Another problem occurs when we assume that it’s someone else’s job. Don’t just criticize. In fact, make a commitment not to criticize others who are trying to do make a difference. Get involved yourself.
There are several groups that are working together very hard to improve Appanoose County. And they are carrying their watering can with them everywhere they go. Everyone has an opportunity to help water the grass.
Take pride in Appanoose County — it’s a special place, with wonderful people.
Centerville Chamber of Commerce, 128 N. 12th St., Centerville, 641-437-4102, www.centervilleia.com.