By Tara Bitzan, Executive Director, Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce
At a recent Wake Up Alexandria event, a member was talking about domestic violence and stated it was a “community issue,” which is so true. The comment got me thinking about how strong our community could be if we viewed everything from the general sense of community.
Our community farmers market, our community theaters, our parks, our businesses, our community banks…. This particular Wake Up was at a bank, and there were several other local banks represented at the event. I thought to myself, “these are ALL our community banks.” It doesn’t matter if you only do business at one or two of them, ALL of them give back to our community and help it prosper, so we can and should claim them ALL with pride as “ours.”
Of course it can’t just be that way with all the great things about our community. It also must be our view with the issues our community faces, such as domestic violence, lack of childcare or housing, mental health issues, poverty, lack of diversity, theft… these are also “ours” and we need to own them.
This is our community, the good, the bad, the strengths, the weaknesses, the successes and the challenges. Only when we are able to recognize that and claim ALL of it, will we be able to build something incredible.
I challenge you to begin rephrasing things from “them” to “us”, from “theirs” to “ours”, in your mind, in your words and in your actions.