The importance of being local
I think that we can all do a better job at being local in our communities.
When I was asked what I wanted to do after college, I said I wanted to change the world. Being 18, I wasn’t really sure what “changing the world” would really look like, but I did know I wanted to help my fellow man overseas.
I had it stuck in my mind that the only way I could make an impact in the world was to leave the United States behind. However, I was proven wrong.
I attend the University of Indianapolis, a fine institution with the motto: “Education for Service.” Thanks to our motto, incorporated into at least one of my classes every semester is a service project. I’ve worked in multiple soup kitchens, food banks, homeless shelters, schools, churches, and nonprofits over the last three years. I started to believe I could make a difference in Indiana, but I could only find those “saving-the-world” opportunities in Indy.
Again, I was proven wrong. One of my professors introduced me to the concept of being local. Being local is not about just living in a specific area. Being local is making the conscious decision to support businesses owned by local people in the community, purchase food that grown or made nearby, and get involved with service projects that impact your neighbor’s life.
So here I am helping out a neighborhood next to my school, planting a community garden with my professor. As I was lending a hand, I started thinking how this community was similar to where I grew up. That’s when it hit me: I can be local back home, too.
Now here I am today, the intern of Main Street Greensburg. If you would have told me three years ago I would be coming back home to work for the community, I would have called your bluff. I was convinced that I could only make an impact in other parts of the world, the country, and the city. However, it dawned on me that you can make a big impact in your local community by just making the conscious decision of being local.