Questions to ponder: When you drive into Dorchester, what do you notice? Is it clean and attractive? Are the streets, sidewalks, and parking lots clean? Are there businesses that make you want to stop? Are there attractions and events promoted? Are the buildings in good repair? Are there weeds growing in places they shouldn't be?
If you have a physical property, does it look the best it can? Are you giving back to your community or just taking from it?
Let there be no doubt, Dorchester has a lot going for it. We note the positives every time we publicize a house that has been listed for sale.
But communities are like individuals -- we can all takes steps to make ourselves better. Here are five easy things we can do in Dorchester to make our village an even better place to live or visit:
1. Be friendly. It sounds simple enough, but we often hear how rude and oblivious people have become nowadays simply because they didn't acknowledge the living being next to them. Recognize that people tend to stereotype a small community based on the interaction they've had with just one or two people there. By just smiling, waving and being friendly to your neighbors, fellow residents and visitors, you'll make a difference. It's easy if you try.
2. Be helpful. See the comments in step 1.
3. Be appreciative. Tell a Village of Dorchester employee or school staff member or Dorchester business employee that you appreciate them. Thank a community volunteer. If visitors are in Dorchester, when appropriate, let them know the community appreciates them stopping by our village.
4. Listen and be responsive. In this era of online lives, smart phones, earbuds, multiple pets and emphasis on self esteem, we don't take time to interact with those living and breathing human beings next to us, as generations before did. Try listening to your fellow Dorchester area residents and, when applicable, helping them out. You might learn something -- and as a result, your own opinions will be taken more seriously.
5. Keep homes and buildings in repair and get rid of weeds and clutter. Some of this is up to individual businesses and home owners, and some of it is up to the village and its partners to enforce ordinances in a timely manner. Do we need more ordinances and fines to take care of run-down buildings? Or will negligent property owners respect their neighbors and rules of the community? If you have a neglected property, just resolve to clean it up, wash the windows, give it a fresh coat of paint. Make your property an asset to Dorchester, not a detraction.