I hear this from many people when they talk about Central PA. The picture that many people have of our area is that the problems are too big or the lack of opportunities are too much and there just isn’t any way to fix them.
Is this true? Is all hope lost in our area?
For some people, I think the answer is yes. For others, I believe we have a vision for what our communities could be.
Where does hope begin?
I firmly believe that hope begins within each and every one of us. Hope is contagious. Unfortunately, another thing that is contagious is negativity. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to take a conversation down a negative path? The best way for us to guard ourselves against negativity is hope and sharing that hope with others. As soon as one person catches a vision and shares it with those around them, they can catch the vision too. Soon, a movement begins and change is possible.
But what should our vision be? How do we share it with others?
What our communities should be.
What does ‘community’ mean?
1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common:
2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals:
Okay, so if you live here, then you are part of the community. Here is a deeper question: What are some attitudes, interests, or goals that we have in common? This is where I see everything break down. I feel people have lost sight of their interests and goals. Especially given that we are almost a year into a global pandemic.
What would happen if people felt like better days were coming? How would our attitudes change if we believed that we could make a difference? That we could reach our goals? How would our mindsets change if there was a group of people around us who supported us, cheered us on, and had resources available for us to learn, experiment, and polish our skills?
Would it be easier to rally around and support someone who said, “There’s nothing to do around here.”, or someone who said, “What if we had a ___________ around here?”
Our communities should empower, encourage, and support people in pursuing their dreams and giving them the space to work on them.
As long as we have the ability to dream and the ability to freely exercise our dreams, we have the ability to cast our vision, create goals, and show the hope we have inside us to those around us.
How do we get there?
We need to get uncomfortable. Instead of taking the easy route and ordering from the big box store on our phone, or taking the cheap drive-thru option, and instead supporting someone’s local dream.
It starts with each one of us. As a parent, an educator, a student, a business owner, we need to begin sharing what our communities could be.
Yes, some people will have different opinions. But those should be able to be discussed and debated openly and without condemnation. We need to approach conversations looking to learn and challenging our own perspectives.
This will obviously take a lot of time and commitment, but even a small shift in our mindset can see immediate results.
How does Visual Element Media fit into this?
Living in Central Pennsylvania for most of my life, I’ve come to learn about many of the great attractions in our area. That’s why I chose to plant my companies here.
As I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many small businesses and organizations I’ve learned how Visual Element Media can be a resource. The vision I have for VEM is that we will use our skills in video, social, and digital to help communicate the visions and hope that so many people have within their businesses and organizations.
As the use of technology increases, I have seen first hand how local businesses and non-profits have struggled to figure out how to effectively communicate.
When help is needed using video, social, and digital communication, I want you to know that we are here for you. I want you to know what I believe. I want you to know what VEM is capable of helping you with. Hopefully we are the right fit, but even if we aren’t, our hope is that you find the right fit to help you with your digital communications.
Digital isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it will likely become more and more powerful. The only way our communities can become a place where people want to live and work is for us to provide the opportunities and support them each step of the way. If we don’t tell them, how will the know?
Cunningham Media has been working with small businesses since 2009 in Western and Central PA helping them to communicate with their customers through video, social media, web, and other effective platforms. Cunningham Media was formerly known as Visual Element Media.