Tuesday, December 07, 2010

It Takes a Village....

December 7: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (author: Cali Harris)

I'm ashamed to admit that I've connected the most this year, with my Facebook community. I have reconnected with old friends whom I hadn't actually gotten out of touch with, but we would send a few letters or cards now and then.. and now we can chat on a regular basis and keep up with each other.

My oldest, and bestest friend, who works a million hours a week, is able to post to my wall when he gets home from work at awful hours, and can't call me on his way home (like when he worked more normal hours). We share our hurts, our joys, our photos and we support each other. I also stay in better touch with a few of my brothers and extended family, and it's a quick easy way to communicate. When I first joined Facebook, I accepted friend requests from some people that I knew back in my teens.. because.. hey we were friends once! Why not?!?  I quickly learned that I didn't stay friends with these people for a reason, and some of them haven't grown up much since we last parted ways. I went through my friends list and cleaned house, and now the people who are on my list are my friends and family. The ones that I was in touch with anyhow, just not doing a great job of being in touch with.

Lady Bird Johnson once said, "  While the spirit of neighborliness was important on the frontier because neighbors were so few, it is even more important now because our neighbors are so many. In 2011, I plan to more deeply connect with my neighbors, and the small community that is my town. I still remember the time, after I had been working at the video store for a good 3/4 of a year or so, that I was walking down the road to the Post Office, and 2 or 3 different people not only waved to me, but I recognized who they were. Coming from a big city, after having lived in the same town for 10 years where I knew my neighbors and had long time friends, where you were lucky if the people in your building who were there when you moved in, where still there a few months later.. I felt wildly out of place when we moved here. It took me a long time to feel like part of this town, and now after almost 10 years of living here, I feel like an important part of our town community. I serve on two town boards, I write articles for the town newspaper, I work at the elementary school, I used to be on the PTO, I was a girl scout leader.. but all that aside, I need to better connect with my neighbors. Sure we have a few that we are very close with, but the lady who has lived on the other side of me (granted, she's not a very outgoing kind of neighbor).. I couldn't tell you her name. One of my goals for 2011, is to be a better neighbor. To find some way to bring our neighborhood together for a block party, or some common cause, so that we can all hang out together, get to know each other better. Have a support system in place in case the need arises. Most of us are all pretty friendly with each other, so it shouldn't be too far of a stretch, but in a world where online communities are a dime a dozen, I think it's the real life ones that need the most work.

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