I have been reading a fascinating book, “13 Ways to Kill Your Community,” by Doug Griffiths and Kelly Clemmer.
Griffiths is a teacher/farmer/politician in rural Alberta, Canada, who became obsessed with preserving the rural small-town way of life. He started doing it out of self-interest — he lived in one rural community, taught school in another and farmed in yet another — and he wanted to preserve his small towns for his children and his grandchildren. He began researching rural development and rural sustainability, gave talks on the topic, wrote columns in local newspapers, and eventually ran for a seat on his provincial legislature, the equivalent of our state Legislature.
After being elected, he was assigned to write a study on rural development in the province. Over three years, he visited 270 communities in Alberta and co-wrote a report with over 70 recommendations for rural sustainability.
The title comes from a bit of reverse psychology he used with his students. Rather than lay out a path to success for students, he would instead ask them how would they accomplish the goal of becoming a failure in life. Become a drug addict would be one answer. What’s the first step toward that long-term goal? Answer: Smoke some pot this weekend. He could see the lightbulbs start to turn on. Another way to become a failure in life: Flunk out of school. What’s the very first step you’d take to accomplish that goal? Don’t study for tomorrow’s test and fail it.
So on his way to visit a small town that just didn’t get it to give his third talk on rural development, he came up with the idea of telling that town how to fail, how to kill the community.
Here are the 13 ways he came up with to kill your community:
1. Don’t Have Quality Water.
2. Don’t Attract Business.
3. Ignore Your Youth.
4. Deceive Yourself About Your Real Needs or Values.
5. Shop Elsewhere.
6. Don’t Paint.
7. Don’t Cooperate.
8. Live in the Past.
9. Ignore Your Seniors.
10. Reject Everything New.
11. Ignore Outsiders.
12. Become Complacent.
13. Don’t Take Responsibility.
Does it sound like there’s anything in there that pertains to Kuna? I thought so, too.