Nov 12, 2008

building community

I cannot surpass the two posts I'll link to in a minute. The suggestions are excellent, the approach is hope-filled, and the goals are admirable.

In North and South this week I read a prediction for the economic downturn. The man is Bruce Sheppard. The words are as follows
"...We're all going to have to reflect on the kind of society we want to become. We're going to need to learn to be charitable and show decency and respect towards one another again..."
And if we don't? "We will descend into anarchy because there won't be enough cash flowing around to make everyone a winner. We'll be staring at a South African-style future." Rampant violent crime and home invasions."
North and South, December 2008

Perhaps not coincidentally our vicar at church has been talking about the transforming power of hope within communities - and for communities to adapt to doing things in new ways.

Over at Green Bean Dreams there is an excellent post on building community.

Please do go and read the post. But just in case the link breaks (as they do), here are a few choice snippets. Green Bean says;
There are a million ways to do it. Sign up with a local green group. Join a church or, if you already belong, attend an event or volunteer to be on a committee. Put together an email list for the neighborhood. Plant a garden in your front yard. Set up a cocktail table in a cul de sac. Ask other parents at your child's school about carpooling. Ask a neighbor to borrow an egg or a cup of sugar. The ways to build community are as simple and as limitless as can be.

But here's the catch.

Building community is hard. It will tug you out of your comfort zone. It will force you to interact with others - particularly, others whom you do not know well or at all. That is, after all, the point.

In many ways, it is easier to make your own yogurt, plant an edible garden, make jam in a silent kitchen. That is more comfortable for most of us and certainly for myself. I don't have to talk to anyone when I harvest lettuce or stir in the yogurt culture. I can sit in the quiet cocoon of my own home and reach out only through wires and cables. I don't have to look at anyone's face. Or struggle for something to say. Or wonder afterwards if what I said sounded stupid. If I talked too much or too little.
This is true. Christ did not tell us to go live holy lives in isolation - He was all about community and bringing hope to the world. And that means the community of people around us.

The other good post is the one which tipped me to Green Bean's blog. Melinda at One Green Generation uses Green Bean's post as a starting point and then expands on it from her own experiences. All a community group really needs is a few friends sitting around deciding to do stuff and inviting others to join in. Be brave and actually get out there and join in with them!

Hattip to the Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op for having Melinda write for them too :)

1 comment:

Melinda said...

Thank you so much for your kind words, and for writing about my posts! As I said in a comment over at the Simple-Green-Frugal-Co-op, I am so glad the internet can bring us together so that we can all inspire one another.

Newer Post Older Post Home