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KAY DECUIR — Community is home

As I write my article this month, I chose to reflect on the word community.

Community is a combination of two words: common and unity. What does community look like? What are the characteristics of a community?

Webster defines community as; “a unified body of individuals: such as the people with common interests living in a particular area broadly.”

As I thought about what community meant to me, it was about growing up or moving to an area where there is a feeling of belongingness and a connectivity. This can be through common interests, our children and family members, church, work life, organizations in which we participate and our neighbors.

Mid-County Madness is a perfect example of community. I know our community in

Nederland is approaching more than 17,500 plus individuals and while I do not know everyone, I know many people in this community, which I call my hometown.

I am so proud of how we persevere through storms in life both physical and mental and then common things such as hurricanes and this past year a

pandemic. I know living in this community we all bring special attributes and talents to the table.

We share more in common than most realize. We are a part of a larger community, the Great State of Texas and of course America. No matter where we travel, we have our freedoms but we have to respect each other because every life matters.

I believe many times we forget to see the good in everyone and realize that we all have a purpose in life. Do we get along with everyone at all times? No, we are human but we must try.

We should choose to “agree to disagree” and move past whatever situation brings us to make unwise judgment calls. We are human beings with feelings. I was raised to bite my tongue (which is difficult at times) but I am far from perfect and just human. None of us is perfect and that is OK.

Together in unity we can be better for the common good of all.

Being an active member of the community, I like to visit with people who I do not often see. I use social media as a way to connect to friends far away as well as locally. It is easy to say we are SETX Strong or Nederland Strong, but I believe we should live it more than just stating it.

I look around and see how this town has changed. There is still so much more we can do to progress our town. If you have ever want to be more connected, contact me and I will help you get involved in one of our many civic and community organizations.

If you haven’t visited our museums or shopped locally and only online, try

shopping in the countless stores we have in Nederland, where you can find more than you ever could imagine.

Reach out and reconnect with those you attended school with and/or childhood friends. It truly is amazing to realize how many people moved away from Nederland for various reasons but are now back.

Community is HOME! Get involved and help make Nederland one of the best places in which to live. The more you get involved and explore this city, the more you will feel a sense of belonging.

As we approach Easter, we are so blessed to live in a community where we can share our beliefs openly, treat others with respect, and express our freedoms.

What does community mean to you? What can you do to help your city be the best?

Let’s strive to continue to have fundraisers for those who are in need, volunteer in a civic organization and shop/dine locally to support our small businesses.

We should always exhibit the word community because we are all united in common causes. I would like to share a story with you about a Starfish Flinger, it reads like this:

As the old man walked the beach at dawn, he noticed a young man picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Catching up to the youth, he asked why he was doing this.

The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun.

“But the beach goes on for miles and there are millions of starfish,” countered the other. “How can your effort make any difference?”

The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and threw it to safety in the waves.

“It makes a difference to this one,” he said. – Author Unknown

Thinking on this starfish flinger makes me look around to see where I can make a difference. I encourage you to get involved. Try something new. We can all make a difference; we are a family.

Treat each other with kindness even when you don’t agree. Remember to smile because you might be the only smile someone sees today. Choose positivity over negativity. Count your many blessings!

Happy Easter to each and every one!

 

Kay DeCuir is the executive director of the Nederland Economic Development Corporation. She can be reached at kdecuir@nededc.com.