What happens when there is a population explosion such as the one happening in the Treasure Valley now, is that citizens become self-centered instead of other-centered. Busy roads, beautiful fields now covered with houses and apartments come with the territory. This message is to invite all newcomers (and to remind all of us who have been here awhile) that there are standards of behavior we want to preserve.
1. What’s the hurry? Drive slower. Plan your day so you can maintain the speed limits as posted.
2. Don’t run red lights. If you haven’t crossed the line when it turns yellow stop. The life you save may be your own.
3. It’s OK to talk to people whether you know them or not. It’s OK to care about people whether you know them or not.
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4. If someone raises their fingers off the steering wheel, they are not giving you the finger, they are saying “hello.” It’s OK to say “hello” to strangers.
5. The checker in a store/server in a restaurant is your equal, a neighbor who needs to work to survive. Be kind and patient and ... call them by name.
6. When someone blinks a light to turn into your lane, let them in and wave back when they thank you.
7. Wear whatever is comfortable for you to wear to any gathering. People here are more interested in you than your wardrobe.
8. Join in the community projects like raking the leaves, to unite as a community and as people with a common goal.
9. Hold a door when you walk through it, no matter what age or which gender the person is who is behind you.
10. Talk to your neighbors, get their phone numbers in case you need help — and give them yours.
11. Measure people by the quality of their being instead of by their color or race. United we stand, divided we fall.
12. Stand up for what you believe to be true; march at the Capitol, write letters, and in doing so refuse to have this gentle community turn into something less than everyone-supportive.
Look at the big cities — they are nightmares. We can’t stop the population growth and we can preserve that we are a gracious, kind community. Along with the Just Drive campaign, let’s be a part of the Kindness Lives in the Treasure Valley commitment.
Sandy Spurgeon McDaniel is a 6-year resident of Meridian. She moved here to assist with her grandchildren. Author of five books, columnist, creator of parentingsos.com, she is doing what she can to assist the community, especially parents.