This is in stark contrast to living in LA or Toronto (unless you luck into a gated enclave, sadly).
Being in the midst of this type of life style, where you know and like your neighbors, perhaps even feel they have your back - has made me feel even more protective about the local community and its assets.
Today I logged on to my Canadian paper of choice, The Toronto Star. The first advert that came up is asking me ‘tired of paying retail in Bowmanville?’ The ad takes you to an online shopping experience, most likely outsourced to India or the Asian triangle somewhere. While these ads bug me at the best of times, today I take it personally. I take it personally because I now know the person who owns the local dress shop, I know the stories of the stores that closed when Wal-Mart came to town. I know the people I want to support.
I was chatting with someone earlier this week who was telling me about a local publication that has just recently let their graphic arts staff go. That work is now being outsourced to India. So if you call and want to purchase advertising in this local paper, a portion of your advertising dollar is now going to India. I imagine this is the case in most of the money we spend today.
But as I sit on my front porch, in between visits, I make a conscious decision to ask every single time I’m purchasing a service or product, even if I think it might be 100% local, if any part of my purchase is being outsourced, and if it is I will look for alternatives to fill the gaps locally. If I want to place an ad, I will deliver it to the publication press ready using local talent. If I want to purchase a dress, I will go to my local dress shop.
I’ll do it because it matters, it makes communities and communities help deliver a great life where we trust and like each other. That spreads out into every interaction and conversation someone has when they go outside of the community.
You may not get ridiculously rich being a local merchant servicing a community you adore, but wealth comes in many forms. It comes from that hand to hand delivery. It comes from the earning of and sustaining a good reputation and relationship building (not a successful ad campaign). It makes you love what you do and if we can reach that height, we are richer than anyone else on the face of the planet, regardless of the stacks of cash in their bank accounts and the size of their second and third homes.
Wishing you an insightful week. May the graces of community be bestowed upon us.