What Makes a Community?
A community is more than the sum of its parts – it is how all the parts interact with each other. And Communities have many parts.
Citizens, strangers, groups, NGOs, Business and Government all interact with each other in a intricate dance where everything affects everything. And just like a dance, when we all move to the same music, it’s a beautiful thing and when we all dance to different music at the same time flaying our arms and legs in different directions – well one part crashes into another.
So what binds us all to the same music?
A sense of belonging. When we all feel like we belong to the same community – when our citizens, social groups, NGOs, businesses and government share a common sense of belonging, then somehow, just like a dance, we all get in the groove and move to the same music.
This sense of belonging comes when we share and honour the social connections across the diversity of our community. When we see each other, support each other and honour each other no matter what our differences, then we are a strong, resilient, wellbeing community.
The Happy Community Dance
Dr Laurie Santos of Yale University says “I love the Happy Community Project because it embodies so much of what research is telling us – it’s about socially connecting, it’s about volunteering, it’s about doing good acts that are meaningful.”
The Happy Community Project initiates and support projects within the community where people can come together – projects like Makers hubs, Food Hubs, community gardens, farmers markets and community breakfasts. These projects are initiated by the community, integrated with NGOs and supported by business. The reluctant partner seems to be our governments, but in the end, they too join the dance.
In the process the community, develops the social connections, belonging, community pride and a can-do attitude of self determination. The spin off results are new businesses, new resources and a general sense of wellbeing.
Be Part of the action
Sackville – Happy Community Project Launch – May 7 at 7PM Sackville Library
Hants West / Windsor – Community Connects – April 4 at 7PM Windsor Community Centre