Changing My Corner of the World, One Sidewalk at a Time

By , SparkPeople Blogger
One of my biggest pet peeves has always been people who complain about things, but never do anything to change them.  For example, it’s hard for me to bite my tongue when friends complain about our political system, but never take the time to go out and vote.   If you’re unhappy about something, I think you should speak up and do something to make it better instead of always just grumbling about how it’s not right.  That’s why I’ve decided to do something that makes me slightly uncomfortable, but is important to me and my family.

I enjoy taking my kids for walks in our neighborhood, but I’ve always been frustrated by the lack of sidewalks.  Our school and church are less than a half-mile from home, but most people in my neighborhood drive there.  The street doesn’t have much of a shoulder and cars drive pretty fast, so I can see why no one is comfortable sending their young children out the door to walk to school.  I’ve always thought how great it would be if they could install a sidewalk so that anyone can walk up the street safely.  So now I’ve finally decided to try and do something about it.

I contacted my township trustees to see how to go about requesting a sidewalk installation.  They said that our county maintains the road, but if I can get 60% of the affected residents to agree to it, then they will support the proposal and try to move it forward.  That means I need to take a petition around to 15 of my neighbors and hope that 9 will agree to sign it.  Oh geez, that means I have to knock on strangers' doors, which brings back memories of selling Girl Scout cookies as a kid.  That always gave me serious anxiety. 

I’ve been thinking it over for a few weeks, wondering if I really wanted to give this a try.  It might not seem like a big deal to some people, but it is a big deal to me.  I finally decided that if I want change, I’m going to have to work for it instead of just dreaming about how I wish things were.  I want my kids to see that I’m trying to help make our community a little healthier and our environment a little better by encouraging people to walk instead of drive.  Wish me luck!

Have you ever done something that made you feel uncomfortable because you wanted to see a change?