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February 2013 - Community

Evelyn is 89 years old and has lived in SSL for at least 35 years.  She is constantly collecting clothes and toys.  She mends them, washes and irons them and distributes them to neighbors, ward members or whoever is in need.  She cans and bottles fruits and vegetables and also hands these out to the less fortunate.  She does ironing and mending for her neighbors who are sight impaired.  She cleans the church area once a week and she is always volunteering for clean ups, weeding, and painting within the community.  We need more Evelyn’s in this world! Evelyn is 89 years old and has lived in SSL for at least 35 years. She is constantly collecting clothes and toys. She mends them, washes and irons them and distributes them to neighbors, ward members or whoever is in need. She cans and bottles fruits and vegetables and also hands these out to the less fortunate. She does ironing and mending for her neighbors who are sight impaired. She cleans the church area once a week and she is always volunteering for clean ups, weeding, and painting within the community. We need more Evelyn’s in this world!

Community

Definition

A group of interconnected people who experience togetherness through common participation and/or ownership

Quotes

"We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community." -Dorothy Day


"Community is a sign that love is possible in a materialistic world where people so often either ignore or fight each other. It is a sign that we don't need a lot of money to be happy--in fact, the opposite."-Jean Vanier


"Strength lies in differences, not in similarities." -Stephen R. Covey


"I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples." -Mother Teresa

Discussion

The Importance of Community

Human beings are social beings. We live in groups and like to share our feelings, happiness, and sorrows with our friends, relatives and others. This wish of togetherness and belonging leads to the creation of a community as a whole.

Usually community refers to a group of people living in a common geographical location. This group of people observes some social norms and common value among themselves. As such, there are many communities the world over, with various languages, cultures, and/or geographical locations. However, they are interconnected as well, thus making entire world a single community.

A sense of community is important to establish peace and harmony among people. The division of work, feeling of association, togetherness, and cooperation - all these help in establishing a healthy atmosphere filled with unity, harmony, and friendship.

Sense of Togetherness

A sense of togetherness lies in every individual. This stems from our care of and dependency on our fellow beings. From our childhood days to adulthood, we care for our family members, relatives, neighbors, and friends. This leads to a need of togetherness among people, which helps in creating a community. We tend to enjoy festivals or social rituals together. This is a kind of community feeling.

Division of Work

We share our work, and the division of skills through work leads to our dependency on other people in different roles. In every walk of our lives, we have to depend on others apart from our family members. Division of work is important for a well-formed and well-functioning community.

Cooperation

The very idea of community comes into being because people cooperate with each other. The sense of cooperation begins at home and it leads to a strong feeling of international goodwill.

Feeling of Association

In a community, people live by associating with one another, and the feeling of association is a common human feeling. This helps in establishing peace and harmony within a community. Without a feeling of association there would be difficulty of understanding in the community. Feelings of association play an important role in making a lively and vibrant community.

Activities

• Participating in random acts of kindness
For more information, visit: www.actsofkindness.org
• Acknowledging a passerby in your neighborhood or at work
• Attending community events
• Volunteering
• Meeting your neighbors
• Buying from local merchants
• Making an extra effort to talk with someone who may have a different background or perspective than your own
• Supporting schools, which tend to be cornerstones in thriving communities
• Organizing or attending a neighborhood or community event
• Spending less time on the internet or watching television and more time outside
• Joining a club or other social organization
• Personally greeting newcomers to your community

Books to Share

My Neighborhood: Places and Faces by Lisa Bullard


Energy Island: How one community harnessed the wind and changed their world by Allan Drummond


My Grandma's the Mayor: A story for children about community spirit and pride by Marjorie White Pellegrino


Kids with Courage: True Stories About Young People Making a Difference by Barbara A. Lewis


The Giver by Lois Lowry

Workplace

A workplace team activity that contributes to the community can help encourage teamwork and make the team proud of its accomplishments. Some charitable activities that can be used are adopting a family during the Christmas holiday, helping a local soup kitchen collect food for Thanksgiving, collecting clothing for the needy, and delivering meals to elderly and bed-ridden people. Find ways for the entire group to get involved. For example, people who do not want to deliver meals to homes can help pack the meals instead.