Our communities are always shifting and changing, adapting to our needs and goals. Over the past few years, it seems that many of us feel our online communities expanding, while our physical communities are becoming more isolating. It can leave some of us begging the question, am I the only one who wants a stronger sense of community?
There are many small signals that tell us how we feel within our communities, such as whether or not we are willing to accept packages for our neighbours. With over 90% of Viewsbankers accepting parcels that are not theirs, we can see that many people are still looking to support and interact with the people living around us.
A sense of community support is incredibly important in each of our lives, whether we actively invest in it or not. This summer is the perfect time in our year to shake things up, to reevaluate how we are living and what we want to achieve in our communities. Summertime brings in fresh energy, a shift in habits, and more opportunity to interact with those around us. Now is the time to reenergise and make our communities stronger!
How can we start? There are many ways to build community. Depending upon who we are, what we want, and how our communities are already structured, it will take time to find our niche and to really feel the impact of our actions. Patience is key here, we must realise that every small action matters.
Reaching out. Finding new ways to break down barriers, connect with more people around us openly, and share with others is an incredibly important, and often difficult task. From speaking to strangers at the shops to reaching over the garden fence, making new connections is vital to building up our communities.
Changing habits. Writing letters instead of sending texts, walking with a friend rather than alone, inviting neighbours to the barbeque rather than just old friends. The small changes in our lives can have a massive impact. This summer, let’s start something new and see what happens.
Being vulnerable is okay. For many of us, we have been conditioned to think that reaching out to new people, trying new things, or offering of ourselves is a risk. Because our kindness or friendship might not be accepted or returned, we often do nothing and stick to the safety of what we know.
Getting more involved. There are so many ways to be a more active participant within our communities in each and every moment, from smiling more, greeting more people on the street, volunteering, regularly shopping at local stores, or even spending more time outside, each of these acts brings us closer to others around us. We must first create the opportunities for ourselves and others, change will follow.
“Think local, act personal.” We are building homes of our communities, investing in ourselves and the people around us. These are important endeavors and we must act accordingly. We are all responsible for our communities and how they support us. Now is the time to come together and make the changes we would like to see!
Share your thoughts, tips, and experiences on community in the comments below. We can’t wait to hear your voice.