When I substituted for teachers at Anderson Elementary  — that’s what it will always be namde for me — I quickly started the mantra, “Hard, but not impossible.” I did this because the students have their own mantra: “But, it’s haaaaaarduh.”

 I am hoping you will apply my mantra to your daily television news and social media intake. Cut it way down. Hard, but not impossible. And I challenge you to do this because if you inundate yourself with the constant insidious messages of the aforementioned outlets you could lose sight of what is happening right here in Crossett. And beyond that, you could start bringing here what you are watching happen there. 

So, what is happening here? Community pride. It is growing. I first noticed it when litter patrol started getting a little less overwhelming. We are either littering less, or picking up more or both — and all those scenarios are progress. True to form when you notice one positive act, you start to notice more. It’s kind of like how when you get a new car, you start to notice more of that same car. 

The next growth of community pride I noticed was the amount of uplifting acts being generated. Neighbor Rebekah Ann, one of our teenagers, took it upon herself to be a light by organizing and hosting a T-shirt and food giveaway at Centennial Park last month. Her creativity, energy,  planning skills and positivity used to uplift this community of people did not go unnoticed. 

Another round of rocks was painted with positive messages have started popping up. And neighbor Rhonda Minga has started actively seeking ways to encourage Crossett through uplifting urban renewal projects. We are starting to take care of Crossett because we are starting to feel proud of her again.   

The domino effect of these acts of kindness eventually knocks over the domino of growth. We are seeing this in our local businesses like Gypsy Souls with their newly announced plans for a boho baby section, the breakfast addition at the Beech Street Bistro and their new impressive sign across from Sonic, and the Dollar General store going up across from Yarborough Field. 

The funny thing here is, while pride leads to growth, growth leads to even more pride, and we start feeling good about our neighbors outside our city limits. 

Hamburg just dug its heels into the map a little deeper with the fishing talents of its Hamburg High fishing team. They took third place out of 312 boats in the High School World Championship. Yes, world championship.  Despite the healthy tradition of competition between our town and theirs, we here in Crossett are  so proud of them! Because of their win, we are standing a little taller these days. 

And watch out you don’t bump your head on the ceiling after considering this: the Crossett Rodeo just passed through town, and it leads to the National Finals Rodeo. Let me put it this way — you don’t get to the N.F.R. without passing through Crossett first. Wow! 

The next domino in this scenario is the one of attraction. Once we are standing taller with more pride for our community, outsiders start noticing and they come to see what all the fuss is about. We have had several families come from Louisiana to swim at the Crossett City Pool, including Beth Lunsford’s. She and her grandbabies were so impressed with us that they took the time of their own accord and left a glowing review on our Facebook page. Sometimes social media can be a good thing. 

As the dominos of positivity continue to fall, and we continue to stand tall, rest assured our place on the map will not only remain but will become more defined. Crossett, you are special, and you are necessary. Thank you for being you.

While we are here, readers, let’s do a little Christmas business in July that certainly celebrates who we are. Years ago neighborhoods around Crossett joined together to decorate with a common theme. Sign your neighborhood up today! Visit with your neighbors and come up with your theme. Then get busy organizing the materials needed to achieve the theme. 

Call 870-500-0303 to let us know where you are and what you and your neighbors have decided. If Crossett Parks and Recreation can help in any way, we sure will! 

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