Taking pride in ownership

Published 6:12 pm Tuesday, May 24, 2022

By Nathan Rice

Guest columnist

The shelves had dirt that appeared to be caked-on from years of neglect, broken items lay scattered on the floor, and a half-torn sign for a sale that expired three months ago was still taped to the wall. An associate sat behind the counters tapping on his cellphone, barely even looking at me as I checked out.


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I wasn’t shocked at the condition of the store or the inattentiveness of the associate working there. Sadly, this is a common occurrence in many areas of our country, including some in our fine city. However, I left the store that day wondering when our society lost the pride we once had in our work, our workplace and our city.

I couldn’t stop wondering why it seems that so many people do not care about their workplace, city, home and area in which they live?

I know that these questions cannot be answered in a short column, and it would be hard to come up with an answer without a lot of research and discussion. Plus, it may not be the most important question. Instead, let’s look at what we can do to reclaim the pride we once had in ourselves, our places of employment, our home and our city.

We must first understand that we cannot control every aspect of the things around us. We only control a small portion, but we can, and should, do what we can to make everything within our control the best possible. Too often, we throw up our hands in frustration, allowing the things that we cannot control to cause us to give up on what we can control. We fail to realize that if we all took pride in our little corner of the city that the entire area would begin to improve.

Next, we should realize that things do not have to be new, fancy or expensive to be excellent. We use the excuse of not having money to repair everything as a reason to let everything fall apart, but there are things we can do that do not cost a lot of money.

An older building can be maintained, kept clean and be well organized. We can easily fall into the trap of considering older places not worth our time to maintain or clean, but older doesn’t mean it can’t be pleasant. Likewise, inexpensive doesn’t have to mean trashy. We will be more likely to take pride in our ownership of things when we understand that things that are old or inexpensive can be nice.

Lastly, we can begin to hold ourselves and those who work with us accountable. Let’s look around our corner of the city and our place of employment to see where we can improve in helping make things as nice as possible. Let’s hold one another accountable and help one another as we strive to retake pride in the place that we call home.

Would you pledge with me today to take pride in the things we own, where we work and where we live by keeping everything around us as nice as possible?


Nathan Rice, a Hampton Roads resident since 1988, is a branch operations manager for a regional credit union in Virginia and North Carolina. He has volunteered with children and youth through various organizations for over 15 years. He is interim pastor at Portsmouth Nazarene Church. His email address is libertynathan2@yahoo.com.