Most may remember the old story about the stranger who arrives in town and asks a resident to tell him what kind of town it is. The resident ask the stranger to tell him about the town he came from and the stranger replies, well people aren’t friendly, the gossip about each other, rarely take the time to listen to each other or work together in harmony. The resident tells the stranger that the town is just like the one he came from. The stranger thanks him and departs shaking his head.
A few days
later, another stranger asks the resident the same think and again, the
resident asks the stranger to describe the town he’s from. The strange says, well my town is full of
warm and friendly people who come together to help each other, work hard to
address their challenges together, and are as civil as any people you’ve ever
met. The resident tells the stranger that the town
is just like the one he came from and the stranger goes away smiling.
All during the public input phase of Chapel
Hill 2020, it was possible to hear a variety of descriptions of our town. And as the story illustrates, what exists in
reality usually isn’t one end of the spectrum or the other. The more that we are all involved in the life
of our community, the more likely we will be able to tell a stranger who we are
and what we are like. Let’s be involved
in helping to make our community what we would like it to be.