Having pride in our home, city, town or village is a powerful way to bring community members together.

It makes us feel good about where we live. When family members or friends visit our homes, are we proud to show them around our town?

What about when an exchange student comes to our country? Are we proud as their sponsor family to show them and teach them about our country and our community?

Civic pride is a feeling of satisfaction with the people, businesses, legal system, schools and land.

Our communities accomplish so many things. We really do have so much to be proud of.

Civic pride begins at home. By keeping our yards mowed, our trash picked up and our personal environments clean we are letting our neighbors know that we care about them and what they have to look at. Sometimes we gather together to beautify a local park, we take the responsibility to clean up the trash along a section of the highway, or we help an elderly person paint their home or mow their yard because it will help the community look better.

I once interviewed a boy scout who took on the project of putting in a wheelchair ramp and planting trees in his community, simply for the benefit of others.

Having pride in our community and country brings out feelings of loyalty and friendship with our neighbors and fellow countrymen.

Civic pride instills a desire to help others and make things better for others. Being an active citizen by getting involved shows our children that our communities are important. It teaches them to care about their environment and the people around them.

Don’t we all love seeing the community holiday decorations go up? But why do we decorate our town streets and lights for the holidays?

When spring comes, we hang banners and plant flowers along the sidewalks. We repaint the street curbs and the parking lot lines. Why? I believe it is because we care about how our community looks and we want others to enjoy and appreciate what they see when they visit or just drive through.

As visitors drive through the state of Ohio, we want them to remember Paulding County and that it was a great place to visit. We want them to enjoy what they see and know that we are proud of where we live.

More of us volunteer than people realize. We may not think that it takes very many people to put on an event, but when you start counting all of the little details and the people who helped achieve it, the numbers are amazing.

I know that more of us really could volunteer with local events, but people in this community really do step up and take pride in the events they sponsor. Supporting the children of our communities by volunteering to coach sports, attending games, serving in the concession stands, or going to the county fair are all examples of taking pride in our children and our community.

Be proud of those local children who work so hard to learn to play sports and accomplish tasks. They are the future of our community and our country.

We all have to admit that we do enjoy looking at clean streets, picked up yards and nice well painted decorated store fronts.

Decorating, cleaning and painting are all services done usually for the benefit of others because we are proud of our homes or businesses and we want others to be proud of them too. I don’t have to look at the outside of my house, but my neighbors do. We do it for others. We want others to be proud of their neighbors and their neighborhood.

Civic pride goes far beyond our personal homes or towns though. It includes the responsibility to not litter, to leave no trace when we visit a local, state or national park, to pick up after ourselves and leave a clean environment for others to enjoy.

I am proud that I was born in Paulding County and I am proud to be an American. I show it by the way I display my civic pride and maintain the environment that I am a part of.

So, is the value of civic pride worth keeping and nurturing in today’s society? Does it benefit us as Americans living in Paulding County? I wonder what our community would look like if we were not proud of it.

It is everyone’s responsibility to take pride in their community and environment. I believe the majority of us are proud to live in Paulding County. I believe we do truly care about our neighbors in this community and I believe civic pride is already alive and well here. Of course, it can always use a little boost, so go forth and be proud this week - proud to live in Paulding County, proud to be an Ohioan, and proud to be an American.