We all know that it is easy to get caught up in our personal lives and forget that we have an obligation to be responsible members of our communities. For some of us, expressing this responsibility is so interwoven into our personal lives that it is simply a natural extension of who we are. Others may need to take a moment to consider how to be more responsible for the communities in which we live. For those who live in large cities, they can start with their neighbourhoods. Anything done on a small level will automatically ripple out into the larger system.
Communities thrive on the talents of their members, so one approach to community responsibility is to consider what you have to offer and find ways to bring that into your community. If you have a special gift when it comes to bringing people together, you might agree to throw an event once a year that includes the whole community. Even a small open house or garden can accomplish a lot in terms of making people feel more connected and comfortable with each other. If you have a talent for gardening, you might offer to help people in your community plan their own gardens. You might be the go to person for neighbours who need someone to water their plants or care for their pets when they’re away. You might take an abandoned space in your community and encourage others to help you transform it into a community garden or a playground for children. In an area where there are many homeless people, starting a soup kitchen or organising a meal makes a big difference not only to those in need but to those who want to help.
All parades, picnics, and ceremonies started somewhere, with someone who wanted to give back to the community in which they lived. It’s not too late to propose and execute a new tradition in your own community, whether it’s a street party or an annual picnic. Your particular vision, gifts, and strengths are part of what makes your community unique, so as you recognise them in yourself, feel free to offer them to those who live in your vicinity. Whether your offerings are visionary or practical, they are the very essence of community.
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