After a short stay in the hills of North Georgia I am back and ready to share Green Dot’s message with you. Over the weekend I took a trip up to Cloudland Canyon State Park to spend time with family and enjoy nature. It was a really great experience full of hiking, camping, and some much needed fresh air. Although this experience was far more isolated than my usual day to day in our states capital, there were still plenty of people there to meet and talk with. As you may already know, any place where people are gathered is a great time to kick into bystander mode and to be a good neighbor.
While I didn’t see any kind of violence during my stay in Georgia, (thankfully I might add), I was able to be a helping hand to those around me. Whether it was just waving a friendly ‘hey’, or sharing water while hiking, its always so rewarding to help those around you. One of my favorite things to do is to meet new people, and being in a new area I got to do just that. I talked to a handful of campers during my stay at Cloudland making friends and greeting new faces. It was so nice to hear a new perspective from the people living there, because life there is much quieter and more food is grown locally. Some of the guests shared experiences of traveling and camping from all over the United States; I especially liked listening to people’s accents as they varied heavily from family to family.
Often in our program we talk about being proactive and getting more involved, and to a lot of us this just sounds like more work. But, I can assure you it doesn’t have to be a chore! Being a proactive bystander can be really and truly fun. All you need to get started is a few conversation points and a friendly smile, and I don’t mean just Green Dot talking points. Being proactive could mean just getting to know members of your community and being more aware of the people you already ‘sorta’ know. Making new friends gives you a window into their lives and allows you to be a watchful eye in case a potential red dot comes up. I really want to encourage all of our readers to be more proactive at the beginning of this school year. Maybe you could 1) sit with someone new at lunch, or 2) make it a point to talk to a freshman before the first week of school is over, or 3) maybe plan a fun Saturday event and meet some new people, or 4) perhaps your school will get some new transfer students this year and you can greet them with a warm conversation. What ever your Green Dot is, you can make a difference in your community, and be a massive change for good by being a Green Dot bystander and asking people around you what they see. You never know, a great green dot might start with a simple “Hey!” or “How ya doin!”.
Tyler Wertenberger – Your Calhoun Liberty Green Dot Coordinator.