One of the wonderful things about home is that it’s your private space to enjoy life with the people that mean the very most to you. While the privacy of home is something to cherish, so are some of the less private aspects that come with living in a community – namely your neighbors and the people that make your neighborhoods distinct.
Sure gardens and architecture give a community a strong sense of character and distinctiveness, but that’s a visual thing. When we think about those characteristics of our neighborhoods that become sweet memories over the years, more often than not the memory has to do with people and experiences we share as members of that community.
As we celebrate this season of Christmas, people of various backgrounds and beliefs around the world resonate with the need to connect with each other in celebration of shared values and in caring – especially for those in need. And that really is where community becomes a tremendous contributor to the quality of life so many of us are privileged to enjoy.
As individuals we can do a lot to take care of the people in our community. From material donations to creative ideas, individuals definitely contribute to a community’s quality of life. But when the people in a neighborhood or region decide to “work together” to address some need or objective, from feeding the hungry to creating a new garden for a public area, the results can be tremendous.
There’s something about working together towards an objective that benefits all as opposed to just our respective family and friends. When we take responsibility for the well-being of people in need in our regions, efforts are magnified. When we jointly pursue a charitable cause the experience can bring people together to form friendships that last a lifetime. Knowing that our efforts are changing lives has a way of inspiring and energizing like few other experiences can.
Who wouldn’t be pleased to see children in economically deprived areas having the opportunity to enjoy the snowy season in winter gear your community donated? How satisfying is it to read in your local newspaper that a recent food drive resulted in a well-stocked local food bank just as the need was at its greatest?
When someone on your street experiences a tragic occurrence, isn’t it heartwarming when neighbors take it upon themselves to knock on doors to collect condolences, food or whatever might be needed to help that neighbor through their pain?
Living in neighborhoods where there is a certain level of openness and willingness of neighbors to acknowledge each other and reach out when needed is a priceless gift. Distinct and private family time is wonderful, and is all the more enjoyable with the knowledge that the people in your neighborhood and community are there when you need them as part of the distinctive and beautiful fabric of your community.