“Did you get accepted into the College program?”
The young petite cashier sadly replied, “Not yet.”
As she finished packing my groceries, I smiled and said, “ Hopefully by the next time I shop, you’ll know!”
Less you think this sociable encounter happened because I live in a cozy town, where it’s easy to know everyone, I happen to live in a big city.
But, by shopping local stores, I’ve created a connection with staff there.
So, while Yellow Pages’ November 28th Shop Local Campaign focuses on local marketplace shopping creating local economic backbone, there is another equally compelling reason to shop locally.
By shopping locally, I am building community.
We all hunger for human connection.
Frequenting my local stores, I’ve gathered small yet personal details of employees. By extending beyond my focused pace to focus on the person assisting me, I’m building community. In this way, my shopping days are interspersed with brief yet friendly personal comments to those working in my local community.
Perhaps it is surprising, but most are willing to go beyond their “I’m at work” smile to share a few moments of human connection.
Making even the briefest of connection begins an acquaintance that, after several such encounters, creates connection and community.
It begins in only one place- with me.
Conversations with staff at local stores do not take more time than the economic transaction. But, over multiple visits, they create a bond.
It isn’t the substance of the conversation.
It’s about listening, sharing and remembering.
Today, while purchasing a toy truck, a store employee and I chatted about handling her son’s fear of trucks. Conversations like these flow easily after one expresses true interest time and time again with those working at a local store.
You don’t need to live in small community;
You just need to build a local connected community, wherever you live.
Turning total strangers at local businesses into new acquaintances, even solely as grocer store acquaintances, means learning to be present with them, for just those few moments of interaction.
Frequenting the same local stores creates ties that bond us together into the broader community.
Community connection will happen as you shop locally.
That young cashier didn’t tell me the good news about her college acceptance the next time she scanned my groceries.
Instead, she found me at another local grocery store, and stopped to tell me.
Shopping locally not only generates a thriving economic backbone to a community.
It vitally generates a thriving human backbone of community.