Have you ever thought about the fact that the Earth is just one huge spinning rock upon which each one of us has placed our individual stake in the ground and called it home? But, then, our little plots of land start to bump into one another, and we begin to build something called a neighborhood, village, town, city, community. Sometimes people think that the community is “somewhere out there” and that they’re not actually a part of it.
But that goes against its very definition, because without you, there is no community. You are part of a team—a group of people—living in the same area, making a living, going to school, creating and recreating, pursuing interests, and living life. People are stronger when they act as a community. So, why not plug into your local network? Meet a friend in public to share a meal. Better yet, build time in after to volunteer together or see a performance. Or do so on your own.
On the weekend, visit a local farmers’ market or get in tune with that other shared community—nature—by taking a hike in our own wild backyard. Our community—and its many interlinking components—is only as good as each of us wants it to be. Go make it great!
Low: Hop on the Internet and do some research on your city or town. Learn its history and check out the scene. Find volunteer opportunities on the UW Combined Fund Drive website. You might be surprised by how much your city or town has to offer.
Medium: Try to meet five new people in your community this week. Maybe it is your mail-person, a server at your favorite restaurant, a new co-worker, the principal at your children’s school, or even a next door neighbor. Remember, you have to be a friend to have a friend.
High. Pick one community outing per month to explore with a colleague or your department. Maybe it’s a concert in the park, farmers’ market, or volunteer opportunity. Make it happen.
Need more ideas for getting involved in the community? Visit your local library in honor of National Book Lover’s Day, host a Back to School Supplies drive for your neighborhood school or organize a picnic at your favorite park with other families to celebrate National Family Fun Month!
This is the eleventh installment in the Every Monday Matters series. UW Combined Fund Drive is partnering with Every Monday Matters, a nonprofit committed to inspiring a new normal where people understand how and why they matter to themselves, the community, and the world.