How to Build Community

howtobuildcommunity
Love this – building connections and community is big on my mind these days. It’s the stuff of life, don’t you think? This should be stuck on our fridge.

(via shauny on tumblr)

19 Responses to “How to Build Community”

  1. estelle

    i remember when i was a little girl we got some new neighbours. a single mum and her 21 year old daughter.the daughter drove a snazzy little barina she would inexplicable park in front of our house (they had a car port, a garage and their own house to park in front of.) this was the subject of mounting irritation in our house, previously untroubled by neighbourly issues.

    it reached a climax when my father happened to be in the front garden and caught her in the act.

    what transpired was the most awful scene of neighbour rage, worthy of Compton ghettos rather than sydney`s north shore.

    Ok, so she was 21 and gave a bit of sass. But he hurled such obscene insults loaded with bitter rage. this young girl was transformed in his fury to a slut, whore and countless other sexual derogatives as his four kids watched on, frozen.

    of course, she ran inside crying.of course she never parked there again.

    but i think of this incident often and wonder how our community and my parents` (otherwise normal, educated, white collar worker types) could have developed such a distorted view of the people they shared a fence with, that they couldn`t drop by with the post and mention it.

    the isolation that comes with urban individualism can be scary…even dangerous stuff.

    I`m going to stick these points on the fridge to remind me to be more community minded. thanks.

    Reply
  2. leilani.e

    This is hanging up in my favourite coffee shop back in Halifax (Canada)! I can probably find you one if you want. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Cristy

    Great list.My grandfather’s wife is amazing at this stuff. She organizes regular block parties, greets every new neighbour with a welcome pack, babysits neighbourhood children, looks out for for about four recent refugee families (helping them with practical needs, emotional support, transport, etc), salvalges old household goods from everyone and finds new homes for them, etc…

    I find her inspirational. People in her street always say that they don’t want to move away because of the sense of community. In Canberra that’s a pretty rare thing.

    Reply
    • Claire

      ummm… can I move to her block? That sounds amazing Cristy!

      Reply
  4. sooz

    And I’d add another – swap childcare after school. One day a week I have the neighbours here, one day a week Amy goes to the neighbour’s after school. The arrangement is convenient because both myself and my neighbour get an extra afternoon at work, but it does so much more than that. It puts us in touch with each other’s lives and raises (often) the opportunity for a shared dinner – especially if our partners are out of town and we’re alone. Shared labour, more togetherness and a great understanding of each other. Everyone should do it!

    Reply
  5. Cristy

    Yes, she is pretty special. What is interesting though is that many of her neighbours are military families who do have to move on after a few years and when they do she encourages them to start up some of the same traditions in their new streets – especially the block parties. She has kept in touch with lots of them (of course!) and they often report that it has worked and that they now have a great community where they are living.I really need to take a leaf out of her book. It takes a lot of courage to do it though – you have to put yourself on the line to invite strangers around or to rock up on their front step with a welcome pack and baked goods. Plus, of course, you need to make the time; something that is more challenging with little ones around…

    Reply
  6. Melissa

    Oh you have no idea how on the money you are with this Claire – as a mama in a community that is currently having all sorts of problems finding its way through the merging of two little schools, it could not be more timely. I have sourced one for our walls at home and one for the walls at school to help us remember how important our community is and to focus us on the things that really matter.

    Reply
  7. Nissa

    That is a *wonderful* post…I have passed it on to several of my friends already. Thank you!

    Reply
  8. Belinda

    Just gorgeous!!I am really lucky to live in a very neighbourly street – one neighbour came by and gave me the keys to his house so I could use his pool with my kids on a hot day while he was a work. We catch up for a dinner 2-4 times a year and always wave, smile, have a chat when we see each other.

    I have always been in the habit of greeting people when out walking somewhere, but for some reason (fear, why bother, ?) avoided teenagers. I now make sure I give every teenager I pass a friendly hello and the results are worth it. It’s really nice to see a teenager smile!

    Reply
  9. Eric Pratt

    I just think community is best for eveything. It’s very empowering. makes you think i’ve got friends right here. That is the best. life is short and fragile. Live like you mean it. Come on now! do it. lots of love ep.

    Reply
  10. alice

    They have that poster up at the cohousing community my folks live in in Northern California. My partner always jokes that they forgot to include ‘leave passive aggressive notes about things everywhere’ 😉 It’s mostly terrific advice, though!

    Reply

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