Neighboring Tip of the Week - Attend a meeting for one of your community organizations, and meet someone new.
Community organizations are groups such as your Homeowners’ Association, Neighborhood Association, City Council, District Advisory Board, Parent Teacher Association, etc., and we encourage you to attend a meeting with one of such groups. Your participation in these organizations can help to make your community stronger in a few different ways:
Attending a meeting gives you the chance to meet neighbors with whom you might not otherwise cross paths. These neighbors may live in a different part of the neighborhood, be part of a different social circle, or even a different ethnicity.
Community meetings are a great source of information, and attending them is the fastest way to learn what is going on in both your neighborhood and your city as a whole. They allow you to see how decisions are made, the discussions around these decisions, 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 as simply being the right to vote and the obligation to pay taxes. However, in order to build whole and healthy 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 an awesome step, it is only half of the experiment. We also challenge you to take the effort to meet someone new and learn a little bit about the person. If you feel comfortable, attempt to find out what they like to do in order to help identify their gifts and interests.
While you work to see the gifts and abundance in another person, do not be surprised if your community meeting does not work the same way. Community meetings can often operate out of a place of scarcity, fear, and negativity. If yours is headed in this direction, consider offering a story or perspective of abundance, sharing, or joy. You might just spark a chain reaction!