Entries by Braun Barry

Meet Our Team

While we have been working our way through Covid 19, we have also been building a great team. Meet our team: Together we are committed to fulfilling our dream and vision:

Our Big Dream:

What would our world be like if every person on earth had the connectedness, belonging and caring support from the people who live nearby, the support that includes the full diversity of their community?

That is our Big Dream.

Our Vision:

We and our children experience a better future where a global network of people transform the social connectedness of our world one neighborhood at a time. And it is happening now.  Read the rest

Let the Love In

Covid 19 in many ways has brought us closer together and brought out a new awareness of what could be. I have been wondering how we can perpetuate this into our future?

Our language matters, the metaphors we use to capture our ideas of the world has a huge impact on our behavior and affects our lives immensely. Take the phrase ‘social distancing’. The intentions are good, to minimize contact with the Covid 19 virus, but the effect is terrible. 50% of Canadians have reported a decrease in mental wellbeing because of social distancing. Walking through the grocery store is an experience in awkwardness with the other people in the store. Domestic and substance abuse has increased. Social distancing is not the answer.

We need the exact opposite of social distancing in times of crisis. We need social connecting. It’s what makes us feel OK, safe and belonging. we need to let the love in.

And yet we do need … Read the rest

An Opportunity for Better

Where is COVID 19 Taking Us? 

There is lots of speculation as to how the world will be when we come out of the COVID-19 Pandemic. No one really knows how it will be, but the general consensus is it won’t be the same. 

We have been learning lots of lessons because of the pandemic, the chief one being how vulnerable we are when we lose the social support of our community. We are relearning that community is central to our very existence and our sense of humanity. 

For decades now, our world has been on a grand social experiment. In this experiment, we have been told that all that matters is wealth as measured by GDP and we are responsible for our own personal and independent happiness. That if we increase our wealth, we will have greater independence, wellbeing and happiness. We now know that our wellbeing and happiness is interdependent on our relationship to community and our Read the rest

Reach Out Today

We are stronger together – don’t let Covid separate us – call someone today

This is a sad day in Nova Scotia, we are grieving. People need to hear from you. Reach out and share comfort with family, a friend, someone who you have been meaning to call or someone who is alone.… Read the rest

May your day be filled with many smiles

We used to say “Are you busy?” Now we say “Are you well?” I think this is going in a good direction.

We used to say “cheers” as way of saying “Farewell or goodbye”. Now we say “Be safe”

I hope when this pandemic has passed, we will take these greetings one step further.
I hope we say : ”Are you happy?” when we greet people
And I hope we say : “May you have many smiles” when we mean, goodbye.

Many smiles to all of you
Barry… Read the rest

Good News at Happy Community Project

This picture is of a woman in a seniors home who is reaching out to help others.

I am writing to express my hope you and your families are safe, in good health and sharing in the community spirit of looking out for each other. And to share what the Happy Community Project has been doing while we ready ourselves for when we can more freely move around.

There is lots of good news while we go through these strange times. Most of us are safe and well, if not somewhat lonely as we limit our excursions outside our homes.

Even with these restrictions, it has been inspiring to see how people have stepped up to look out for their neighbours. There are hundreds of stories filled with compassion and imagination, some are down right funny. Here is a one minute video on someone’s creative thoughts on how to make a Corona virus mask. I hope it brings a … Read the rest

What Happens After Covid 19?

Many of us are finding more time for contemplation these days. There are many people wondering what happens after Covid 19. How will this change our communities?

The Happy Community Project™ was developed to strengthen our communities in a time of disruption. Here we are and I have been one of those wondering how our communities will come out of this.

I have been watching how people behave during this time of intense change. I have noticed is there are three general behaviors: altruism, selfishness and wariness.

We are hearing about many incidents of neighbours looking out for each other and many incidents of people reaching out to strangers. For example, there is the truck stop owner who is being supported by her community to provide free meals to truckers. There is the person who reached out to a stranger to give her comfort when she had just been told she has a terminal illness.

There are thousands of wonderful … Read the rest

Is It time for a Grand Experiment?

 

 With an estimated 50,000 Nova Scotians, over 500,000 Canadians applying for benefits, and an estimated 20% of employees  suddenly finding themselves out of work with no fault of their own, is it time for the government to try an experiment they have been musing about for years?

We have been predicting disruption to the work force for many years now. We thought it would come from technology, to our surprise it comes from nature. The effect is the same – depression era unemployment.

As a solution for this problem, many thought leaders, social scientists and economists have been suggesting a simple and proven to be effective solution.

Guaranteed income for all. The way this works is every citizen with a social insurance number gets a monthly check from the government that enables them basic income for food, shelter and transportation. There is no bureaucrat looking over your shoulder asking what you are doing with the money. People are trusted … Read the rest

Being a Happy Community with Corona Virus

The main purpose of the Happy Community Project is to deepen the culture within our communities for fellow citizens to take care of each other. We are going through a test period of why that is important.

There are people who are in self-imposed isolation and others who are in quarantine. Soon there will be many more.

How do they get their basic needs taken care of? How do they get social interaction without violating their isolation? How do they pick up prescription renewals? How do they get someone to pick up a few things at the grocery store?

Others are suffering financially, their businesses, homes and ability to feed themselves are at risk. How do they get the support they need?

We as a society are coming to understand that we are dependent on each other. There is no “I take care of me – You take care of you!’. There is no ‘they should…’, It is up to … Read the rest

The Politics of Belonging

The goal of the Happy Community Project is to strengthen the connectedness, belonging and caring across many communities. More and more, we are hearing that our future depends on it. And more and more experts are telling us the Happy Community project is going about it in the right way. For example, George Mombiot talks about the importance of the ‘politics of belonging’ where people do things together.

We know from experience and talking with thousands of people that we all want the same thing. We want to belong in a community where we can find friends and know that others care about us.

We also know that communities have the power to strengthen their connectedness, belonging and caring for each other. We have proven this in Windsor Nova Scotia, Kolkata India. And after just a few weeks, Stewiacke Nova Scotia has already attracted dozens of people committed to making their community a stronger community.

In 2019, I made … Read the rest