Town are gathering data on the needs of rural communities that they believe will transform conversations about the challenges and futures of small towns. Now in its third biennial run, the Survey of Rural Challenges asks for input from rural folks on two key questions: community challenges and business challenges. How can we get people to shop local first?
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The survey also asks a few demographic questions to help surveyors better understand the worldview of respondents. And, new this year, the rural gurus are working with a community-development specialist at Oklahoma State University, Dr.
McCray and business partner Brown promote the survey at speaking events and digitally through their websites, social media, and email, and through affiliates like Dakota Resources in South Dakota. The survey is open to all, and participants are self-selected. But the nature of the questions means they are hearing from people who are familiar with rural issues and interested in the future of small communities.
After the survey , which garnered responses, McCray attended a meeting in her home state of Oklahoma at which the California director of rural development for the U.
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Department of Agriculture showed a slide with the findings of her survey. Yes there are fewer teachers but there are far fewer students and classrooms are a comfortable size and the learning environment is greatly enhanced. Here the teacher has time for every single student. And even at the schools community spirit is strong.
Dates of upcoming school events are posted on the wall. The year is well planned.
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Looks like the students may be the entertainment for the year. Down the road you spot the local doctor's office. One doctor who knows everyone by name. The hospital is small and offers the basic facilities and top notch medical care. Serious injuries are quickly transported to a metro hospital.
Nice large lots for some privacy and perfect for the kids. No condos, and few apartments. Here families get the opportunity to own their own single family dwelling and they can afford those homes! But where would you work. There are, of course, jobs within the small town communities and many people who are moving back to small towns make their livelihood online so where they live is not a factor. Some choose small towns within commutable distance of the city where they continue to work. There are lots of options to explore! Small town communities are once again thriving. For many small communities the decline of population and threat of extinction have gone.
City folk are quickly recognizing the advantages of small town living. Life is an endless journey, and at every phase, we learn something new. I have learned much of what I know on my own. My greatest source of inspiration is my grandfather.
My grandfather has certainly succeeded at both, and when I look at him I simply wish to be like him. In India, especially in a business class family, a descendant usually takes over the family business.
At times I succeeded, and at times I failed. When I was 22 I accepted that, and I realized that I was going to have to make my life whatever I wanted it to be. I could either live a life of purpose that I would design for myself, or I could have a life that would be decided by my family. I succeeded and I failed many times in many ways. I have accepted that I am on my own and, despite having a loving family, the life I am creating is going to be my life.
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I thought that I could choose to live a rebellious life or a life of meaning. When you are with your family, you share your pain and your problems. But, when you are on your own all burdens belong to you and you alone. Some problems will be big, and many of them will be small.
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So, if you have any problem in your life today, take action and find a solution! You must take action and make things happen. Stay strong and stay positive! The biggest fight for me was handling the initial transition. What I saw in my childhood and what I see now are two different aspects of life. But with time we become accustomed to new ways of being and new ways of living. And from there we are free to create the life of our dreams.
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