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I grew up in a small town. I think back to the values I held then and still hold now because of how I was raised and the morals that not only my parents but my community instilled in me.
I think about the support I saw among family, friends and even rivals. I think about how people came together and worked together because it was the right thing to do.
I think about how we live in a democracy and we all value individual growth and success, but there are not many of us that would leave a neighbor behind. Maybe in San Diego, maybe in New Jersey, perhaps that is just my bias. But perhaps that is what I know to be true growing up in small town.
Perhaps that is what I know to be true from my friends who grew up in those cities… and why those folks choose to live on the Western Slope today. And why those folks will raise their children in these smaller communities.
I want to live in a community where people still wave at each other, and say, “Hello! How are you?” and really care about the answer. I want to live in a community that supports its neighbors. I want to live in a community that will not undercut the next person for their gain when this is a country that doesn’t require undercutting in order to be successful. Leave that to corporate America!
These small communities on the Western Slope have a long history of supporting one another and supporting their neighbors, and we have made this community what it is today. And I know this to be true of so many other small towns across America, including the one I grew up in.
I value community, comradeship and partnership. I will continue to support businesses that do the right thing by their neighbors and by their community. I will teach my children to do the same thing.
How do you define ethical? Community? Support? Empathy? How do you define a monopoly? Insincerity over indulgence and greed? I define it as a business I will not shop at.
I have a friend who just moved here from San Diego say, “They don’t say hello to each other on the street.”
We all have a choice. Say hello to your neighbors and support small, local businesses that value doing the right thing.