Around the Pee Dee Region of South Carolina there is a question that I hear often from involved people in other communities. That question is, What makes Hartsville different? Candidly, most people asking already have their answer. They look at our home-grown global business headquarters. They look at a vibrant, though small four-year private college. They look at an innovative Statewide school for excelling science, math and technology students from across the state. They look at high school sports accomplishments that are close to close to legendary from decade to decade. They look at an Arts Community that continues to expand. They look at a city government that generally works to move forward. As they look at all this, they say themselves “Of course Hartsville is different – look at all you have.” Hartsville is an All-America City.
Choice is to Become, Not to Be
Those things help Hartsville stand out. Those things help Hartsville see itself a bit differently from some communities. Those things are there but they are not what makes Hartsville different. The something that makes Hartsville different is focused more on a state of community thinking that may have come with our various founders and then inserted in the well system for posterity. The thing making Hartsville different is viewing ourselves as What is Hartsville becoming instead of What is Hartsville. A focus on continuing to become instead of a focus on who we may be is a crucial answer to the question of What makes Hartsville different. An additional consideration is that within the DNA of Hartsville citizenry or citizen-leaders in Hartsville there is the realization that they answer to Hartsville Is — is a choice we continue to make on a daily basis as we look outward and step forward into new challenges. You only have to look at Hartsville organizations like the Hartsville United Way, the Hartsville Greater Chamber of Commerce, the Black Creek Arts Council, The Butler Heritage Foundation, Carolina Kids, etc. to see example after example.
The impetus for this thinking (1-21-20) is a blog by Seth Godin that he calls ‘The imprecision of I Am’. Hope you will read that piece and maybe add in some of your thoughts about either civic development or even person development. How do we keep things moving toward getting even better?