In decades past, the word community had a deeper meaning than it does today. You knew the mailman or milk delivery person by name. Your neighbors were part of the fabric that helped to raise your children. People worked together to keep their community maintained and shopped at local business. When something threatened your community, you stood by your neighbor to fight back.
Today, it seems as if community has been replaced by social media and convenience. Instead of a network based on personal relationships and conversations, it is now based on virtual relationships and written messages. The fabric of the community has shifted to the virtual. Social media definitely has its role to play in the success of many businesses and reuniting long distance family and friends. But it has also placed a wedge between developing deep and true human connections with one another.
Do you feel connected to your community? Is it your City? Your block? Or does it exists virtually? With diminishing infrastructure, aging building, lack of housing, and less funding for local governments, it is important that we take a moment to reflect on our community and what we can do to bring back the "sense of place" and connection to our neighbors that has been slowing fading away.
Perhaps this is making an effort to shop locally, getting involved with a community organization, volunteering for a local after school program, or just getting to know the people on your block.
Written by Tara Matthews, a Principal at RSG.