How to Become a Good Townie (Part One)

Don’t underestimate us—being a townie takes skills.

A townie’s lifestyle demands both a refined social acumen and keen self-awareness. It requires a highly developed sensitivity to age differences, economic disparities, and political affiliations. And the best townies achieve that careful balance between preserving and improving their beloved hometowns.

So, here’re a few tips to becoming a good townie:

Reconcile yourself with your past

Have an embarrassing yearbook photo you’d like to forget or a heartbroken boyfriend you’d like to avoid?

Sorry—but as a townie, neither is possible.

While most people are rarely faced with their pasts, a townie’s daily commute is mapped by memories (“a right at the old little league field,” “a left at the old sub shop,” etc.).

These memorable landmarks are the backdrop of every townie’s daily existence. And for that reason, townies must surrender to those landmarks’ personal value. The past may shrink imperceptibly a crowning achievement; it may inflate exaggeratedly a regrettable mistake. But townies are equally adept at both congratulating and absolving themselves.

The mindfulness acquired by well-adjusted townies is not only commendable—it’s enviable!

Avoid generational tribalism

Here’s the truth: your rapid texting does not prove your moral superiority. Whether you’re a digital native or a Baby Boomer, your regional identity has shaped your character in ways worth your acknowledging.

The most successful townies aren’t limited by generational labels. They’re not solely “millennials;” they’re Toppers, Marauders, Mountaineers, Mules, and Golden Eagles. They understand the value of a trans-generational membership, and they strive to preserve their people’s collective pride in and collective responsibility to their communities.

Imagine the achievements made possible through such a willingness to connect and collaborate!

Invest yourself personally in your community

The most successful townies recognize one, immutable truth: they are who they are partly because of their hometowns.

So, join a volunteer organization, give back to your community, and become an integral part of its future success.

As a lifelong Laconia Sachem, I work with “Got Lunch!” and “Stand Up Laconia.” The former works to combat food insecurity in my city; the latter, to combat substance abuse/misuse. My involvement in their altruistic efforts has re-purposed my energy and re-calibrated my heart.

The best townies aren’t just residents—they’re stakeholders. And the reciprocation of generosity and service strengthens the bonds of their communities.

So, ask yourself: do you have the skills to be a townie?

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