For those who work hard, who work long hours, and are deeply engrossed in a particular job, a common fault seems to be that they do not take time out very often for their own restoration, renewal and regeneration. The missing ingredient is often a plan that includes a commitment to honor the process of renewal and figure out what is required for that to happen and have a positive impact on the outcome. It might be as simple as a week unplugged or as complex as changing locations.
Several months ago a former colleague and friend contacted me to see if I would help find a few candidates who would be interested in becoming a founding head of a K-7 progressive, independent school. Without knowing a lot about the details, I did know a lot about John Faulkner who is the point person for the project. I knew he had taken a job as a kind of town manager for a place in Arkansas that I have come to know a lot better. This recent article in the New York Times provides some of that background. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/20/us/arkansas-towns-new-owner-has-visions-of-its-renaissance.html
What intrigues me about this project is that it is an opportunity for renewing an entire community while respecting and honoring the history, culture and traditions of the region. The plan for renewal is inclusive, intentional and by design. One larger goal, among many of the ongoing projects designed to breathe new life into Wilson, is making the place attractive and appealing for people who might consider moving there. Those who want a particular kind of life-style, especially those who can work independently, or who might own their own business could easily move their work to this location. The benefit cost ratio seems significant for those with the vision and energy who might want to capitalize on such an opportunity.
For individuals, couples or families who might want to escape the urban or suburban crunch and live and work in a somewhat rural area in a small town atmosphere and yet close to a metropolitan center, Wilson has a lot to recommend. For those who are interested in moving here, and either buying or building a house of their own design, or relocating a business where there is excellent connectivity, and comparatively inexpensive real estate, take a closer look.
My small part is helping to launch a new school so that families with young children can be assured of an excellent educational opportunity and experience for their kids. There is more information available on The Delta School for those with children between the ages of 5 and 12. Wilson, Arkansas has the possibility of becoming a prototype for restoring and renewing a lot of small towns where people can enjoy a productive, healthy, and a relatively stress-free life. You might even know someone who would find Wilson a terrific place to live and work and a small business with a few to several employees could make this an even better choice. At the end of the day, it is usually about the choices we made.