Having a sense of community

Sunday, April 10, 2016

There's so much renovation and new construction in the area lately that the future for Brazil looks bright. Once again history will repeat itself and downtown will flourish with businesses, local shops and eateries like in those antique photos from the early 1900s.

New jobs will be available for our current residents and bring in new families seeking a nice place to live and work.

There will be no need to travel someplace for a family outing as Brazil will become the place to be, a city to be proud of.

The road to civic pride is going to be a long, bumpy one to say the least.

The amount of trash floating around on breezy days along National Avenue and many other streets is a quick reminder of what some residents think of their hometown. A person who can't pick up the trash that falls out of their car onto a parking lot says a lot about the spirit of a community. The regulations are not in place to stop that kind of behavior, or they are and no one cares.

Either way it's a sign that needs to be looked at.

There are many citizens in the community actively trying to make the city a better place, but there are many others oblivious to their works or enthusiasm for a better community.

There are also those who look to the darker parts of the community -- crime and drug activity, low income households and etc. -- to use as an excuse for their "get-out-of-Dodge attitude."

But the flaw in that thought process is that those negative opinions of Brazil apply to cities and communities all over the world. There are no modern-day utopias, but there are communities and neighborhoods where good people live.

Problem with that premise is that so many people do not know their neighbors and often times there is no true sense of community.

While people may live in the same area, often a real sense of community is just not there. Without a connection to community, to the community history, pride in a hometown falls to the wayside.

One of the first types of histories a child learns is that of family and neighborhood: something often transmitted orally and held precious throughout their lifetimes.

If the small towns in Indiana, not just Brazil, are to grow into the vibrant communities they were once were their history needs to be taught again.

It's worth attention in school for all that, especially important during primary school years when children start to experience the world outside their homes, often for the first time.

Brazil and all the towns in Clay County have a rich history for people, especially our children, to aspire to achieve.

Now that ISTEP has been repealed and teachers will be able to teach once more, maybe it's time to consider our local history become more a part of our children's classroom curriculum.

By learning of the greatness of the community our children live in they can become the hope of our tomorrow and help make a better future.

First is family, local, neighborhood history: something often transmitted orally, but worth attention in school for all that. This would seem especially important for primary school years, when children start to experience the world outside their homes.

But then, it equally points out the flaw in this definition in that, "Most people, unless extremely lucky, do not live in areas that they would describe as a true community. They may live in the same area, but the sense of community is just not there."