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Good neighbours are the strong links in our community fabric

Mary Thomas, Associate Editor, ATB, Jan 2019, Edmonton

Have you walked into a community and immediately felt the gush of positive welcoming vibes and others where you can sniff the stink from a distance? Strong communities are those that are diverse yet supportive and people know each other so well, they know their strengths and weaknesses. They make room for people to shine and support them through difficult times.
Our neighbors are more than family. Act like it.
When we treat people with respect and greet them with loving curiosity, they present gifts valuable to offer to communityandthe world.
Community begins with and builds on the gifts of our neighbors.
When we commit to identifying the gifts, capacities, talents, dreams, and passions people have, investing in them with time and intention, then celebrate and tell others about it, this is the glue that keeps communities together.
Children make the world of parents go around. Respect this.
Children are great connectors. Organising fun things for kids engages the entire community.
4. Let’s invest in the common good based on neighborhood needs.
When people get together, it is easy to find enough talent to repair any damage and make changes. Eg: Refurbish an old rickety playground. Thosewho feel lonely and isolated can find themselves invigorated as they grow more aware of the abundance around them.
Most large ventures often came into being because a few committed, gifted, passionate people came together around something they deeply cared about.
Money must flow to the neighborhood.
When things are better for our neighbors, they’re better for everyone. If your neighbour lost his job, help him network, cook him a hearty meal or if he is old and doesn’t drive, take him to his doctors and buy him his medications or shovel his driveway. Your neighbourhood will slowly but surely glow and grow.
Practice neighbourly love.
Practice hospitality. Talk with each other like you would talk with someone at your dinner table, share meals together as often as possible.
At the center of neighbourly love is curiosity—about the world and about other people. When we’re in love with someone, we’re in a constant process of discovery and learning. Together we’re growing something powerful and life-changing. That happens regularly around a dinner table and hardly ever around a conference table. People truly don’t live on bread alone.
So, if you wish to bring richness into your community, know your community and grown your community. Write to us at [email protected] with comments, suggestions and questions for new topics.

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