When I was younger and growing up in a small Texas town, I often got involved in beautification projects. In Cub Scouts I helped plant trees. In Junior High School I made benches in metal shop that were installed on the school property. I did this because my parents, now in their 80’s, were great role models and still continue to be involved in community improvement projects such as beautifying our town and saving parks.
Their latest project was preventing the destruction of my dad’s historic elementary school. They heard it was being sold and torn down so they raised the money, bought it, and turned it into a vibrant community center. Check it out – http://brazoriahf.org/site/. You’ll see what I mean by having great role models!
So today I didn’t save a park or a school. But my wife and I did do a small act of beautification in downtown Petaluma.
For the past few months when I entered my office, I’ve been noticing the same dead shrubs in concrete planters on the sidewalk. It bothered me every time I walked past, and it also irked me that my clients were coming to therapy to improve their lives and had to pass by that ugliness.
After checking with the building management, who passed me to the city offices that never returned my calls, I channeled my inner “mom and dad” and took the liberty to go buy some plants and dirt. Then I just ripped those withered brown cypress out of their pots and replaced them with some beautiful succulents.