Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Your Community, Your Involvement

"In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it."

- Marianne Williamson
Spiritual teacher, author and lecturer. She has published ten books, including four New York Times #1 bestsellers.
(b. 1952)

You are a talented person.  You have choices to make about your time.  You treasure certain things, and make money, that may be part of your treasure.  Considering all that is true, and, since I am often asked how I got so involved in our community, this tip is about just that; community.  Community means more than just where you live.  And, community involvement is not limited to being engaged locally where you reside.  Similarly to my belief that friends are the family you make your own, I believe your community is what you create, not just what others make.
Being a part of a true community means being involved.  There is not a guideline for what to do, or how much time and energy "should" be dedicated.  Being a contributing member of your community is up to you and your level of interest, desire, action and ownership.
There are online communities.  What are you involved in online?  Are you contributing?  Are those contributions positive and forward-focused, resolution-based and not bashing?  Did you join a group and never go back?  Consider exiting online communities that no longer interest you.   Seek those that pique your interest now, and will likely last.  If/when one dissipates, then seek others for which you can contribute.
There are community outreaches, where individuals join others to let people know about an event, a place, a cause or activity that is taking place to better someone or something.  This is community involvement.  If you have not done a walk, a run, or even volunteered to support a walk or run for a cause that is important to you, you may just see the road detours as an inconvenience rather than part of a community experience.
And, then again, there is the area (immediately) around you.  Do you know the people by whom you live and work?  Do you have pride in where you are and what you do?  Do you know what is important to you, those with who you share time/space?  Are you willing to put in time and energy to ensure those issues, causes or drives stay relevant?  Do you buy locally to support your merchant community?
Being involved in your community does not just mean using the parks or things that were put in place by public funds.  While that is part of it...choosing a venue that is local versus far away, requesting farm-to-table foods be served, it also means thinking about, and acting on, what you want your future to be...what you want to be the community in which you spend your time, talent and treasure.

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