Sound Bite: The Community Pride Cycle

This is a selection from Jennifer Kimes’s great essay, “Community =/= Widget.”  If you like this, you’ll like the whole book.  You will.  Honest and for true.

How people feel about a place runs in cycles.  A community’s pride or self-deprecation could be drawn on a chart, I’m sure of it.
Here’s how that cycle goes.  First, something changes and everyone feels good.  A unique new business opens and the community wraps around it and takes a little piece of it as their own pride.  But a month later, when an older business closes, the public begins the old refrain:
“Someone needs to do Something about this town…”  
That continues for a while, until the next big event where thousands gather and the moms and kids chat endlessly about how fun it was to be downtown.  Pride is temporarily restored.

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