The number of businesses closing in Liverpool over the past six months is frightening, and while there are many factors to blame one can be traced to pride in the community.
Or lack of it.
Maybe if we had a little more pride in our community we would be willing to shop locally more often.
You may bristle when you read that last statement. Take a minute and breath. Then ask yourself if you are proud of your community and why (or why not).
This isn’t meant to scold people, and that doesn’t work anyway. It is doubtful people have even lost their pride on any sort of conscious level. It’s more like a slow loss of things that once bound us together. Service clubs are not drawing new members like they used to, and volunteers are chronically hard to find. We don’t even have a pub that draws a diverse crowd.
Queens Place should have been a project to draw us together, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. At best we see a mild interest, and at worst it has become divisive coffee talk.
The Internet is the usual scapegoat for loss of community, and it certainly isn’t helping a whole lot. However the Internet has more replaced what has been lost rather than taken away what was there.
Why do we need pride? Why are some people adamant Leafs fans, while others wouldn’t dream of supporting anyone other than the Canadiens? It all comes down to pride. Pride motivates us, inspires us and draws us together.
There are examples of pride in communities of Queens. Mill Village and Greenfield, and their surrounding communities, are very proud of their elementary schools. Can people living in Port Mouton say the same thing about the Dr. John C. Wickwire Academy? It’s a great school, with very dedicated teachers and staff, but it doesn’t bind the community together like the smaller schools did.
Both the smaller schools still open are looking at a possible review though, which might spell trouble. From a dollars and cents point of view, keeping those schools open probably does cost more. However what will we give up if we lose them? Several communities have already lost their schools, like Port Mouton, Beach Meadows, and Brooklyn. Are those communities as tight nit as they once were?
There is no one right answer to bringing pride back, and we’re going to have to adapt to the realities of today. However if we want to see communities be revitalized, we’re going to have to find that pride again.