|Quality of life is an assignment|
|Wednesday, January 08, 2014 9:58 AM|
Quality of life is an assignment
By Kim K. Sutton
“Quality of Life” is a term that can sometimes be confused with the concept of “Standard of Living.” Quality of life indicators include not only wealth, employment, clean air and clear water, but also human traits, such as a small-town atmosphere, a strong sense of community, and family orientation. The word “neighborly” fits nicely.
Talk about economic development, and the future usually includes a discussion of quality of life issues – especially when the focus is on what the county will or won’t do to attract new business. No one I know suggests that chasing smokestacks is essential to economic development.
When people talk about the county’s future, what you hear is what the majority of residents of small communities across the nation say – “We’d like to keep it about the same, maybe a little larger, more economic diversity.” (Taken from a survey done by the Heartland Center of Leadership Development.)
A successful rural community needs to know its assets and know how to emphasize its uniqueness. Our people are conservative and independent, products of a frontier heritage, no doubt. Our county offers quality employees, low crime rate, lower overhead, great schools, excellent health care facilities, recreational opportunities, and life, in general, is slower-paced where family and community come first. “Comfortable living” may be the appropriate slogan.
Successful rural communities are often showplaces of pride and attention, with neatly trimmed yards, public gardens and well kept parks. Pride also shows up in other ways, especially in community festivals and events that give residents the chance to celebrate their community, its history and heritage. These factors are more important than size or location, which we can do nothing about. These successful towns are surviving because they know the future of the community is in the hands of the people who live there and they market it.
Making a hometown a good place to live for a long time to come is a pro-active assignment.
Kim Sutton is a guest columnist for the Paulding County Progress.
The opinions stated are those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect that of the newspaper.
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