Be mindful and thoughtful when considering empty storefronts in Creston

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To the Editor:

What are you experiencing with the obvious shop vacancies in our downtown? I’d like to encourage you to reflect with me upon how you feel about seeing vacant storefronts and what thoughts are coming up for you as a result.

I ask you to do this with me because when we are mindful and thoughtful, we are aware of what we are projecting into the circumstance. You might think that your singular opinion is not going to have any impact but if you combine your opinion with like opinions it becomes the reality, even if it is not based on facts.

It is easy to feel sad when we hear of shops shutting down and to see empty storefronts, presuming it is this way because there wasn’t enough business to go around. This thought leads to the next one, which could be that there is something wrong with our town. Then we make further speculations without really taking the time to be thoughtful about where these ideas are coming from. If we admit to caring, we would make inquiries into what is really happening. All meaningful relationships have been developed through caring consideration and the willingness to understand.

Often the easy way out of something that we presume to be unpleasant is to pretend it doesn’t matter. Or if we can’t ignore it, then it is easy for us to go into blame and then helplessness. What kind of message are we sending out then?

What if we didn’t view empty storefronts as a symptom of an illness? What if we could notice empty storefronts in a state of caring inquisitiveness? Wouldn’t being open to inquiry make our community more available for possibilities to arise instead of limiting our town to perceptions that sound like it has a kind of terminal illness (as I have heard some people proclaim within their hopeless state)?

I usually begin my inquiries by looking at some ideas I have heard while also looking at my own speculations. I do this with an open heart and mind. It is kind of like gently deconstructing a story. Then I can make edits to a story in a way that is more serving and is founded in information that is closer to the truth. I then remind myself to remain open to a story evolving, while noting that in reality I am creating my own story, which may not be the same as others’. I love our community too much to place my sole story on to it. As one person, I have limitations. I want more for our community than one version. This is why it is important for me to make inquiries with others. There are lots of stories out there related to the circumstance of empty storefronts, some are attached to truths and others attached to repeated misunderstandings. So let’s “reflect instead of mirror”.

Please join me in making caring considerate inquiries about what is happening while being available to experience a more meaningful fulfilling relationship with our town.

Debby Johnson