Hello, Nantucket, it’s Grant from the Nantucket Owner’s Manual, a guide to leaving the island better than we found it. It’s Bill Connell’s birthday today. He founded the clean team. I’ve known him since my kids were five or six. 20+ years. Happy Birthday, Bill. More on that later.
You hear it often. “It used to be nicer on Nantucket.” “I miss the way Nantucket used to be.” Nantucket has gone downhill. And, hey, these people are not wrong. The housing problem has gotten worse and worse. Traffic has gotten worse. The population has grown by 40.1% in the last ten years and by over 200% since 1990. Scallops are down. Noise is up.
But in a different way, these people are wrong. Have you ever noticed that the people who complain the most about how bad it has gotten here are never doing anything to fix the problem? They just throw up their hands. “It used to be nicer!” What good does that do? And they forget about the things here that have gotten better. There are more jobs than ever. The new hospital is amazing. Our community has grown and there are many new social avenues for people year-round. We have more school choices than we did 25 years ago. Our ability to get on and off the island has improved with multiple boats. There are more food and retail options for residents. It feels like the business community, despite the shortage of workers, is booming.
Here’s the thing. And my challenge to you. Pick one thing and make it better. Like today’s birthday boy, Bill Connell. Bill is not trying to change the whole world overnight. He’s just doing one thing. He’s picking up trash. He’s inspiring people. He’s organizing people. It starts with one action. Bend down. Pick up a bottle or a can. And make the island better than we found it one square yard of island at a time. And it doesn’t have to be trash. You could simply, rent your cottage year-round instead of seasonally. You could volunteer for meals on wheels. You could sponsor an idea at town meeting. You can vote. One small thing at a time. And things improve. Anyway, it’s an idea. We ought to talk more about it. Thanks for watching. Please click “Like” and subscribe and check out our page on Patreon. And until next time, we will see you by the side of the road picking up trash.