My New Years Resolution

I am making a New Years resolution. I resolve that I will do even more to enable the communities everywhere to be happy communities. I believe this is the most important thing I can do for my grandchildren.

Over the last several months, most of us have come to a new appreciation for the importance of community. It is where we find our belonging, our confidence that others care about us, and our sense of security. I believe we have also learned that we can not take community for granted.

Communities are places composed of individuals with many different backgrounds. They exist because of our communal efforts to build and maintain a culture of coming together that strengthens our social fabric. Whether we are an organizer of community places to gather, or whether we show up in these places, we are contributing to our community’s well being. It is through these kinds of connecting places that we meet new and old neighbours, learn about each other and make the bonds that are so important when we need help.

Through the past 10 months of Covid, we have learned how important and how fragile community is.  We have heard many stories of good Samaritans stepping out to help a stranger. We have also heard stories of people having mental difficulties because of increased isolation. And many of us have felt increased anxiousness and vulnerability wondering whether we can trust the stranger in the mask.

Although we are not yet out of the times of Covid, we can reasonably hold hope that we can soon return to a time of hugs, gatherings and peace of mind.

But we also have a decision to make. Just like we need herd immunity to protect us from Covid, we also need herd commitment to the values we hold dear in our community. And just like Covid, to achieve herd protection, we need to do decide to do something. We need to decide to turn commitment into action.

To insure that we enjoy the protection and good feelings that come with community, we need to do something. Community is built by the collective efforts of the individuals who live and participate in the community. We need to create places for gatherings and we need to  participate in these gatherings. We need to reach out to others that need a little kindness. It is by individual people coming together and looking out for each other that we create herd immunity from the diseases afflicting our communities.

It is too early to have large gatherings yet. But it is not too early to reach out with kindness. And it is not too early to make a New Years resolution of how you intend to have a deeper commitment to your community.

As we take the next few days before we return to the busy-ness of life, I wonder what each of us can do to make our community a happier community?

I personally resolve to continue my efforts to enable people everywhere to build happy communities.

And my hope and wish for the New Year is that we all remember the lessons Covid has taught us, and make a stronger commitment to act on those lessons long after Covid is gone.

Happy new year to you, your family, friends and community. May this coming year be filled with many smiles.

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