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A Community of Kindness

A unique perspective to see a truly lovely side of Meridian

Article by Natalie Plummer

Photography by Madeline Rose Photography

Originally published in Meridian Lifestyle

As a social media influencer, I have a unique perspective of watching how my community has dealt with the last 18 months. That perspective is one of the things I am most grateful for. I see how Meridian residents work together, and get to hear their stories. It makes for some very real and open discussions. And for that, I am honored.

When the world turned upside down, I decided to start something called “Community over Corona.” It was a simple idea: a weekly challenge to help each other, our community, local businesses, and ourselves.

I could not believe the response. People WANTED to look outside themselves and serve. They wanted to make a difference. Hundreds of people reached out asking what they could do. We coordinated take-out nights to support local restaurants. We collected 4,000 pounds of food and supplies for the food bank in ONE DAY. We invited local businesses to help us sponsor weekly lunches for teachers, and we were able to do it for an entire year.

That hasn’t stopped. So many people genuinely want to help their neighbors during this time. Even when the world feels it is crashing down around them, the service hasn't stopped. 

If I ever questioned if this was the right place for my family, the last year has removed all doubt.

Let me give this one unique perceptive, if I may.

We’ve all experienced the “internet troll,” and its close cousin, the “keyboard warrior.” There is something about the layer of separation on social media that gives some people much courage. Often that is used for good, although on a regular basis, it incites attacks. At its worst, it unleashes a barrage of cruelty.

What I have learned is that the people who want to injure are few, but they are LOUD. And the best thing to do is quiet them by looking away. Stop feeding them. Unfollow, block, and stop engaging.

People are so much kinder in real life than social media would indicate. From my private and public conversations with people who engage on my page, I have found the people in Meridian to be vulnerable and kind, welcoming and hopeful.

You can be a real change for good by spending a few minutes a day sending these messages of kindness out into the word.  Things are still filled with uncertainty, but I feel warmed by the knowledge that most people want to take care of each other in this community. I promise. I see it every single day.

Follow Natalie Plummer on Instagram, @hellomeridian. You can also listen to Natalie and her husband Shane, hosts of the local podcast @theboisebubble

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