Build Community

build community

Just what is community?

It’s a feeling of fellowship with others, because of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. It’s a place where we can belong. For me, small-town people are a community. We have many similar interests:

  • knowing our neighbors and looking out for them,
  • shopping at our local businesses to support our friends,
  • going to events in our towns because they appeal to us,
  • and helping when we can.

How do you find your people, and build your community?

I look for the people who wait tables at the local restaurant, for the caretakers of the elderly, for the people who cook for others. I see the store owners who give donations to local charities. I hear the mayor who shows up on clean-up day with gloves on and gets to work. I visit with shoppers in the local nurseries as they share their favorite plants and ways to grow them and extend offers of a cutting so I can try it.

I want to be in community with the folks who are in service to others. Because that is where community begins, and any of us can be of service.

  • It can be as simple as picking up trash around your neighborhood on a Saturday afternoon.
  • It can be volunteering to help at the street festival or spreading the word on social media about an event.
  • You can share the news of new entrepreneurs trying out their ideas. You can buy the Girl Scout cookies from your neighbor’s kids.

Being of service doesn’t require permission or acknowledgment. It only involves connecting with others.

Is being in service hard?

Sometimes we have this notion that we need to be Mother Theresa’s. She found a way to be in service that matched her passion. She didn’t start her mission in life living in the streets serving the poor and sick. She followed the normal route someone takes to be a nun. She spent 17 years being a nun before she found her mission in life. She tried out ‘being in service’ for quite a while!

And you can try the small steps too.

  • It can be as easy as a smile at a stranger.
  • Or the wave you give to the oncoming car.
  • Or a phone call to someone you haven’t talked to in a while, just to check-in.

These are all recognized small-town actions.

Why does it matter?

Being in community is a wonder, it is magical, and it changes who we are. It takes the focus off us and puts it on the whole. Your heart will expand, and joy shows up. It connects you to the wider world and allows you to see beyond yourself and find ways to share this magic.

When you are in community and in service to others, you are changing the world—one small action at a time. The small steps add up, they encourage others to join you, and they help bring dreams of a brighter future into reality.

And creating a brighter future matters.