A short while back a group of local and not-so-local business people brought out a marketing campain “Support Local” or buy local, or proudly local – not quite sure but the message was the same.
In a nutshell you had to buy a little plastic card and you would qualify with untold benefits and discounts at local businesses.
Their marketing stradegy included statements that that locals supported the inituative.
Well within a milli-second the town was split over the issue (as our town regularly does over issues) dinner tables, parking lots, Facebook, sporting events buzzed with the pro’s and cons of the campain.
Even more recently a natural disaster occurred in our village. Again, in a nutshell, the heavens opened, planted loads of rain on our area (desperately needed), filled up our dried dams and made everything a tad soggy. In fact so soggy, in order to divert a HUGE disaster, a dam was slowly breached and a ton of water this heavenly water decended on us, instead of a ton of water crashing upon us.
Before the water crashed the GOOD local machine started whirring its wheels – roads were blocked to stop people endangering their lives and bulldozers (whenever we have a disaster here we seem to need bulldozers) came to life a dammed up possible flood areas. The local traffic department, Muncipality and NSRI manned the roads and everyone was warned of impending danger.
Again the village was split – this time literally by a lot of running water.
Now, what do the locals do – well grab their cameras to get a shot of the disaster (blushing me is included in this group). This I am going to class as the BAD local machine – many of these happy snappers were very very rude to the officials trying to keep them safe, all in the quest of getting the ultimate picture or look at flooding waters. All lot of snappers got their footage whilst being polite and respectful to the GOOD machine.
Finally the Sandriver Bridge collapsed and we became the St Francis Island. Again the GOOD local machine quickly started acting and before sunset commuters were able to walk over the flood and get home – really it was not a hardship it was quite fun. Boats were sent over for the school kids, alternative 4 x 4 routes were made to get out of town and the local news machine kept us all updated via the social networking sites.
Not one person was injured in the whole issue due to careful management, good warning systems and fast action.
Now the BAD local machine really starts getting going – the moaners and the groaners, the people actively looking for a “Name and Blame”, the rudeness to the Traffic Department Officials was astounding – so what if the bread was a little late (we do have a bakery), so what if you had to carry your meat over the footpath, we even had some drivers (read idiots) trying to drive over the footpath, and groups of certain individuals intent on just stirring the local pot and causing grief. Petrol was trickeled out at R50.00 per car irrespective if you wanted to assist others or not.
Most of the communtity assisted with a smile on their faces where they could and we just had a jolly old time whilst the pro’s fixed up our bridge. A lot of guesthouses were assisting guests in and out of the area. Pennypinchers was still delivering building supplies. The Muncipality workers, Traffic Dept and NSRI did not sleep.
Now remember the Disaster bit of Disaster was no more – all we had now was just a temporary inconvenience to our daily lives.
The walkway over the Sandriver became the centre of our universe, and it was definitely the meeting place of the day.
We all celebrated when at 5.33 p.m. the bridge was bridged and we could drive freely again – just over 24 hours after it was washed away – unbelievable.
Now I do have a point here, support local is not a little plastic card that you can get discounts at local stores. SUPPORT LOCAL is how we treat, assist and talk to and about each other in times of stress, no I take that back, SUPPORT LOCAL is how we treat each other all the time.
We were lumped together on an island for 24 hours and most people were just fantastic. The not-so-most people caused strife, sorrow and anger.
Let us band together as a community and SUPPORT LOCAL all the time and we will just be a better place.