Tip of the Week – Attend your local community meeting. Introduce yourself to someone new and get to know them.
Whatever the community organization may be – HOA, Neighborhood Association, City Council, District Advisory Board, or PTA – attend a meeting. Your participation in these organizations can help to make your community better in a few ways:
- Attending a meeting gives you the chance to meet neighbors you might not otherwise cross paths with. They may live in a different part of the neighborhood, be part of a different social circle, or even a different ethnicity.
- Community meetings are also a great source of information. It’s the fastest way to learn what’s going on in your neighborhood and city. Attending community meetings allows you to see first-hand how decisions are made, the discussion around them, and the process for voicing an opinion.
- Attending and participating in community meetings helps you to exercise your “citizen muscle.” We often think of citizenship simply being the right to vote and the obligation to pay taxes. However, in order to build healthy and whole communities, we believe citizenship is even bigger. Citizens hold themselves accountable for the well-being of the community and choose to own and exercise power rather than defer or delegate it to others. (Thanks to Peter Block for those inspiring thoughts from “Community”)
While attending and participating in some type of community meeting is a great step, it’s only half of the experiment. Make the effort to meet someone new and learn a little bit about them. If you feel comfortable, try and find out what they like to do in order to identify their gifts and interests.
While you work to see the gifts and abundance in another person, don’t be surprised if your community meeting doesn’t operate the same way. Community meetings can often operate out of a place of scarcity, fear, and negativity. If your community meeting is headed in this direction, consider offering a story or perspective of abundance, sharing, or joy. You might spark a chain reaction.