(This post was originally published in July 2007.)
Recently, a Times reader sent us a thought-provoking piece that appeared in the Keith County News. Since both attitudes and actions play an important role in community development and prosperity, we thought it would be worthwhile to share this list of "ways to ruin a town" with other readers. Regardless of where you live, we think the following list serves as a good reminder of what not to do if you want to improve your community.
'Ten Ways to Ruin a Town'
1. Never attend public meetings. Criticize the way “they” do things.
2. Always remind others about the cold winters, hot summers and general tough conditions for those who live here.
3. Complain about community groups, volunteers, etc.
4. Keep convincing yourself that it’s not important to attend school programs, church services, concerts, ballgames, etc. You won’t be missed.
5. Knock your public officials, including school teachers and administrators. Talk about the “kickbacks” that the city council and school board must be getting.
6. Stay away from church. You might attend on Easter or Christmas to reassure yourself that all who attend are hypocrites.
7. Make purchases out of town or through catalogs or Internet sites. These firms will give back a lot to your community.
8. Remind others that your local newspaper and other communications are no good and have less local news than out-of-town media.
9. Remember: all kids are delinquents, all businessmen are crooks, and bad remarks about your town are the order of the day.
10. Above all, always be skeptical, cynical and negative about anything designed for the community’s progress and betterment.
If any of this sounds like something you do, even occasionally, do something about it. Try helping to build your community. You can make a difference. (This list originally appeared in "101 Ideas on Economic Development" by Cal Clark.)