Thursday, July 7, 2011

Building A Community

I've always been one of those cheesy people who loves community involvement and getting to know my neighbours, but my desire to do so has increased all the more since becoming a parent.  Last weekend our condo had a garage sale and at the end of it we had gained about $50, some space in our tiny condo, and best of all, we made a few new friends.  I consider the interaction we had that day with those that live in our building to have been without a doubt the most amazing part of sitting outside in the hot sun trying to pawn of our old junk. Since moving to this building, we haven't really gotten to know our neighbours.  It's not for lack of trying on our part, God knows we smile and chat with everyone we see around.  Sometimes we are met with warm welcome, and other times we are viewed as creepy for it or our cheerfulness is met with suspicion (oh well, their loss). 

The experience led me to Googling an image of this poster that I've been coveting for a long time:



For those of you who can't read the tiny writing, it says this:

HOW TO BUILD COMMUNITY
Turn off your TV. Leave your house. Know your neighbors, Look up when you are walking; Greet people; Sit on your stoop; Plant flowers; Use your library; Play together; Buy from local merchants; Share what you have; Help a lost dog; Take children to the park; Garden together; Support neighborhood schools; Fix it even if you didn't break it; Have pot lucks; Honor elders; Pick up litter; Read stories aloud; Dance in the street; Talk to the mail carrier; Listen to the birds; Put up a swing; Help carry something heavy; Barter for your goods; Start a tradition; Ask a question; Hire young people for odd jobs; Organize a block party; Bake extra and share; Ask for help when you need it; Open your shades; Sing together; Share your skills; Take back the night; Turn up the music; Turn down the music; Listen before you react to anger; Mediate a conflict; Seek to understand; Learn from new and uncomfortable angles; Know that no one is silent athough many are not heard. Work to change this.
I hope to do these things, and more.  Many of them I already do.  I hope that this will be great for myself as a person and parent, and most importantly, it will be great for my community and Aias.

I will be heading to Commercial Drive later next week to purchase this poster from Ten Thousand Villages so that I can place it somewhere central in our home to remind us that it is always our responsibility to build our community, wherever that community may be. 




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