I stand before you not to pick sides but to simply speak up because I have something to say. I am the future of this community. Because of that, I Dream of a future with less disdain. For the sake of the farmers, I envision their market growing fruitfully without restrictions. However, that cannot happen if they restrict themselves within small, confined spaces, such as the plaza. I want to see more of my peers going there, because it’s what’s going on in town, and not because they have to fight with traffic to get downtown. When I was in school, adults would say “You are the future of this community.” I processed this knowledge with a specific thought “To grow, take the reign with grace, knowledge and wisdom far beyond our years.” I am aware that whatever decision that is made isn’t going to make everyone happy. But that’s ok. Do you know why? Because in order to better this community, it’s not about sides it’s about doing what’s right for the greater good. We live in a world where communities are crumbling, death rates are growing, and cruelties are happening. It pains me to see our people tearing at each other. In this great big sea we are all trying to stay afloat. No one will survive, if we do not stand by each other’s side. Stand tall, be strong and unite for the sake of our future generations. The world is changing every day, and the farmers market deserves a place of their own. Somewhere they can occupy as much space, and time as they’d like. Most importantly, somewhere big enough for them to freely expand and grow. Small confinement underestimates the ability and integrity of our farmers. For the merchants, I do know they are happy to see the farmers succeed. This is not a battle of territory. Many want to see the plaza full of youthful abundance. Maybe what the plaza needs are more activities in the plaza that involve youth engagement. Youth are not focused on organic lifestyles, or shopping. they want more activities they can enjoy like music of their generation. I appreciate the efforts of bringing back the life to the plaza, but as a youth activist for the better half of the decade now, I must ask, “What happens to our bored youth?” They grow, they leave, and they banish themselves because there is nothing to do here until they are much older. My very own peers are now only moving back to this town because we are grown and this town is only fruitful for the adults. I want to say that if we’re going to do anything to that plaza, why don’t we turn it into the hot spot for the youth again? The youth are the future of this community and its time we start recognizing them for that. Believe it or not, for many years the plaza has been home to our youth. Since we are trying to utilize the plaza for the better, why not utilize it for them.
Parking is a huge issue. This past summer I saw many parents with young children struggling to lug their giant bags of groceries, and tiny children across a heavily trafficked street. That is scary. I saw farmers stressed because they could not park close enough for reloading. The field behind the courthouse, has so much more room for parking, and so many more options.
Times are changing. I see, and understand the needs on both sides. However two wrongs do not make a right. Let’s unite together as a whole. Compromise is important, without it we do not grow.
Understanding that, gives us knowledge beyond anything imaginable. If we spend all our time fighting over things that, in ten years from now may not even matter, then what are we showing our future generations?
We rise, we fall. It’s what we have inside us; mind, body, and soul that defines us.
I’m here to tell you that it’s time to make a difference.
I am not here to say one side deserves favor over the other, but I’m looking at you; the farmers to say, you have greater potential with more space. You can have a better location, and more room. Why settle for less, when you can have a bigger space?
The field behind the courthouse for instance, who remembers the flea market?
Since I was a young girl I’ve often passed by that field saying to myself, why don’t they put another market there? It’s perfect! Let’s get some grass, or turf, or pavement in there. With community effort you’ll be golden I’m sure plenty of community will help if asked. Whatever it takes to help our farmers become more fruitful than l say don’t settle. Look at the bigger picture. More people my age will pop in if they see something going on.
Has anyone heard of the term “Out of sight and out of mind?”
Right now you’re not obvious enough for this community, and quite frankly this community is bigger than you think. Let’s not only give you more space, but up your sales in the process.
© Amanda Gordon “Rareity”