Hi South Shore,
I’ve been thinking about something: Our town’s identity.
Admittedly, I’ve lived in this community a long time (17 years), but it’s only been in the past few years or so that I’ve had the chance to participate and engage in our community.
I love South Shore. I love our small town.
I love it so much I’ve dedicated the past two years of my life to creating an online magazine and writing about everything I find wonderful here.
What do I love most about South Shore?
We still have the ‘small town community’ feel. People work together and help others when the dirt really hits the fan. It’s still a place where we can really know a lot of people and they know us.
There’s nothing like going to the local grocery store or festival and being able to ‘catch up’ with people you haven’t seen for a while. The familiarity is nice (and, yes, sometimes a bit too close, but…). Our meeting centers happen everywhere in town. We’re still small enough.
We’re incredibly lucky to still have plenty of residents who’ve ‘lived here forever’ and can share our history with us. Knowing where we’ve come from is a huge piece of understanding where we’re going.
We also have the great fortune to have so many residents who give their time to South Shore. The news be damned. People care here. It’s heartwarming and makes our community a better place.
Diversity is all around us and among us. SouthShore is no plain vanilla, cookie-cutter town. We have a rich array of residents from all walks of life. This diversity is a huge part of us, something to embrace.
Oh, it’s no secret South Shore is busting at the seams. Our little community is exploding fast. Traffic has increased exponentially. We’re getting stop lights where we would have never imagined needing them. There are lots of new faces about town. People reminisce ‘about the old days’ a lot more.
Change is the only sure thing, right (Oh, and death and taxes, too)? But change doesn’t have to mean the end to our small town identity, perhaps just a shift.
Personally, I believe growth is good. Sadly, it will never happen effectively or efficiently (government just doesn’t work that way) so we do have to endure inconveniences.
But the other side of the coin is we’re seeing improvements and new amenities, including restaurants, shops and services.
We’re gaining new residents that will become part of our community. Many will participate, engage and give to South Shore. This is a good thing.
So how do we keep growth from robbing us of our small-town identity? That’s easy.
The Best Way To Keep Our Identity Is To Continue To Create It
The easiest way to keep our small town identity, amidst the explosion of development, is to participate in our community. No, I don’t mean everyone needs to start volunteering. Not everyone has time.
But, we can all participate. Shop local. Go to local festivals. Patronize local restaurants. Help when and where you can.
Live in our community. Have fun here. Enjoy life here. Make an effort to know more people here. Find new things to do here that you haven’t tried before.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. We’re lucky to live where we do. South Shore is an amazing place.
We have weird stuff, fun stuff, ugly stuff (that we still love), but it’s our community, for better or for worse.
We don’t have an urban core where all of the ‘cool stuff’ is located. We need to look for our great stuff. In fact, that’s the inspiration behind Townie Life Magazine – uncover our hidden treasures, many of which are hiding in plain sight. It’s more interesting this way. You never know what you’ll find around the next corner.
When there’s so much bad news and nastiness in the world the best thing we can do is love where you are, right now. Today. I don’t mean to get sappy, but loving what you’ve got has always been good advice.
Let’s all keep loving South Shore. Let’s get out there and live in South Shore. Have fun in South Shore and be part of our community. That’s how we keep our small-town feel.
COMMENT BELOW: How do you describe South Shore’s identity?
See you about town!