Tag: Paula Jensen
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I stood with a blue marker in my hand writing on the white flip chart paper as I facilitated a community group that was brainstorming all the factors that needed to be true to accomplish their purpose of building stronger community connections. As they named multiple statements, I wrote them on the flip chart – “strong communication, hosting hard conversations … and lastly, people must have their own thoughts and ideas.” That last statement had me curious and I needed some clarity from the group. I asked for an example of why people currently aren’t thinking for themselves. A member of the group spoke up, “When the negative voices in our community start to make noise it pulls us away from our purpose and each other… pretty soon people start believing what is the loudest rather than search for the … Read More »
It seems to me the only voices being heard in this world are from big companies, big cities and big government. The news blasted on my car radio as I drove across the prairie a few weeks ago, “the nation’s Gross Domestic Product growth has risen to a booming 4.1 during the second quarter of 2018 and consumer confidence is high as we go into mid-term elections.” I wanted to yell at the car radio, “What about the news that is affecting rural communities!”
That brief tantrum brought a question to mind for me. Where are the voices willing to explore and discuss issues facing rural communities?
There is an online news feed called The Daily Yonder that understands rural and puts our issues in perspective, but I’m guessing since it’s not one of the national news mediums, not many are looking … Read More »
Blogpost by Paula Jensen
The Langford Area High School boys’ basketball team recently made it to the State B tournament for the fifth time in the past six years. As I travel across South Dakota for my job people ask me, “How can Langford (being such a small school) continue producing winning teams year-after-year?” My answer is always, the same – it’s because of the coaches. Successful coaches realize that winning teams are not run by one individual who dominates and reduces the rest of the group to mere followers. Winning teams are more like open forums in which everyone participates in the decision-making process, coaches and players alike, until the decision is made. Then, once a decision is made, the team is motivated to move ahead and execute it.
This winning team scenario had me thinking about the community … Read More »
There have been too many years of disinterest and disinvestment in rural America and at times I grow weary of defending the value of the rural place I call home to a national audience. I recently read multiple articles about the rural underclass and the poverty that plagues our landscape from Bloomberg Business, NY Times, and Wall Street Journal. One of those articles written by Paul Krugman stated, “once upon a time dispersed agriculture ensured that small cities serving rural hinterlands would survive. But for generations we have lived in an economy in which smaller cities have nothing going for them except historical luck, which eventually tends to run out.”
I need to ask, is your community living in this fairytale and just running on historical luck, like the author suggests? Or, are you investing in your community … Read More »