I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. ~George Bernard Shaw
I live in the hometown where I was born. It has been a wonderful place to grow up and also, to raise my child. What I love about where I live is the sense of community we have here. Even though the city has doubled in size since I was a child, Asheville has a strong commitment to the philosophy of ” going local.” Around town, you will see bumper stickers, fliers, and signs suggesting you “shop local,” “eat local,” and “give local.” What I like about that concept is that it reminds us of what makes our community–a commitment as individuals to support those around us.
As I have grown into my career, I have seen how important the sense of “community” is to the people I serve. Without these connections, these families might remain in poverty, lack access to education, or isolate themselves from social and spiritual supports. They have taught me truly what it means to be the community–not just live in it, but be responsible for it.
I have started this blog to raise awareness about what it means to build community–to connect with people in our own backyards, to value their talents and resources, then to develop relationships that strengthen and support society.
So many factors these days keep us from building community. In this time of technology, we often isolate ourselves behind a laptop or smart phone. With the growth of many areas, we have lost the small town feel that used to keep us connected to one another. With lives overloaded by personal and professional commitments, we don’t have the time anymore to sit around and visit with our neighbors.
My hope is that this blog will both educate and inspire you to build community–to step out of your comfort zone and appreciate what others in your area have to offer. To take that first step towards connecting with someone different than you but with whom you may find something in common. To give of yourself back to the neighborhood that raised you. To share your light with others who may be living in darkness. To “go local”–not because it is the latest trend, but because it supports sustainability. Without community, we are simply strangers living day to day. With community, however, we are neighbors who offer assistance, colleagues who partner with each other, and people of faith who embrace diversity.
Welcome to this blog–come discover with us what it means when we say, “We are the community.”