Is 2023 the Year the World Gets Happier

We have experienced a tough time in recent human history, but we have also learned some big lessons. There is hope.

What we have learned

We have learned that belonging in real communities where people know each other and care about each other is important to our happiness. And we have learned that co-operation gets better results than competition. And we have learned that knowing and supporting each other is better than self-reliance.

Connected, Belonging and Caring Communities have been fundamental to human wellbeing and happiness since we became humans. In recent years, we have tended to take communities for granted and let the social fabric fray. During and after COVID, we have come to realize just how important communities are.

And now, Happy Community Project and Happy Community Builders are ready to bring community to the forefront of our lives. We have done a lot of work getting to this point. Now communities in Nova Scotia, across Canada and … Read the rest

The Power of Community to Create Sustainability

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world.” Margaret Mead

These words have never been truer or more important than today.

The most powerful human force on earth is not big business, nor is it big politicians. It is ordinary people living in ordinary communities that have the real power. Communities of people are the most powerful force on earth.

For example: Facebook is getting a taste of this power as people turn away – Zugerberg’s shares recently fell by 60%.

And the Iranian leadership are getting a taste to the limits of their power as women and men rise up against the morality laws.

And the lawmakers of Michigan experienced the power of community as citizens rose up against the poisoned water they drink and the governments are acting to clean it up.

Even Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China have felt the sting of common people coming together in community … Read the rest

Sustainability and Community

Communities have been the foundation for human wellbeing for time immemorial. It has only been in the last 50 years that we have changed from a sense of common good to an emphasis on personal good. In this process, communities have shifted from a place of belonging and mutual care towards a place to live that provides the convenience for goods and services that “I” can purchase.

75% of Americans do not have a relationship with their next door neighbor. According to the General Social Survey, only about 20 percent of Americans spend time regularly with their neighbors, while a third say they’ve never interacted with them. Canadian statistics are not much better with over 50% of Canadians not having relationship with their neighbors.

Happy Community Builders is committed to being part of the shift to co-operation amongst citizens for a common good. We see re-emphasizing community as a place of co-operation as being the foundation on which to make … Read the rest

Homelessness, Poverty, and the Environment:

A new way to think about ‘solving big problems’

 

Homelessness, poverty, and the environments are big problems. We’ve had them since the 1970’s. But little has changed since the 70’s. In this article, we’ll expose:

  • 5 Important Facts that point to a new way of solving problems
  • Why what we have been doing will never be the solution
  • The new way to create a world with fewer big problems

Stating the obvious: our big problems are still problems, 50 years later.

In the 1970’s, homelessness was an endemic problem. Today, homelessness is an endemic problem. In the 1970’s, poverty was an endemic problem that our governments promised to eliminate. Today, financial insecurity and poverty is worse than ever. In the 1970’s, environment was a concern, now it is a crisis. The list goes on and the question is why haven’t these problems been solved in spite of best intentions, monies and efforts?

There is an army of well meaning … Read the rest

5 Reasons Why Volunteers Matter For Community Development

As our society continues to evolve into greater dependency on technology, with stronger relationships to the machines that dominate our lives, are volunteers important anymore?

It takes effort, it takes structure and it takes caring to make a community work. Volunteers put in the effort, build the structure and bring us the heart that keeps our communities glued together.

Here are 5 reasons why volunteers matter for community development. We’ll cover the social gaps volunteers fill, and why relying on technology or the government alone can’t replace the importance of volunteerism.

#1 Volunteers fill important social gaps that can’t be fixed by technology or automation

We are developing incredible machines that can talk to us, do things for us and even care for us. For example, in Japan, Robots work in nursing homes take care of elders. But as amazing as these machines are, they do not have that extra thing we call human spirit or human heart. We have … Read the rest

When Volunteers Don’t Show Up

You are passionate about the project you have started. It’s a great idea and you have put your heart and soul into it. Other people have agreed with your project and agreed to help. But what do you do when volunteers don’t show up?

In this post, we’ll share 4 ways you can reduce the chances of volunteers not showing up: proactive ways that will not only increase volunteer attendance, but help leaders and organizers run your events smoothly.

A common volunteer scenario for busy community organizers

Today is an important day for your project and you have lined up volunteers who have agreed to take care of important activities. You look around.

Where is Mary – she agreed to take care of one of the most important activities. And where is Joe, he had agree do to be a greeter for the people arriving to this event. You haven’t heard from them, and yet you can’t find them and … Read the rest

Do Guns Make a Safer Community?

Recently we have been hearing a lot about guns. For our neighbours in the USA, we are hearing about daily mass shootings and a big debate whether the government should make new gun laws. Here in Canada, there is a debate about putting more restrictions on handguns and large magazines.

For or against?
One side of the argument is guns make us safer. If people know I am armed, they won’t invade my home and if I see a mass shooting, I can shoot the shooter and save other people (This rarely, if ever happens).

The other side of the argument is the more guns there are, the more likely they will be used to shoot people. No guns, no shooting. In the middle of all this is an another logical statement: Good people who own guns for sport don’t shoot people and bad guys will get guns anyway.

All these arguments are founded in fear.

We have Read the rest

Do We Need Old Fashioned Community?

Do we need communities where we can depend on our neighbours for a cup of sugar and much more if we need it? Do we need communities where young , middle aged and old are all important contributors to our community? You would think this would be obvious, but in our world of technology, political correctness and mobility, it is not so obvious.

The purpose of community.

As humans, we have a long history of living in community. When we lived in caves, all generations sat around the fire together creating bonds and establishing responsibility to our common good. Community was a survival mechanism. We needed each other to survive the threats, share the work and provide enough food and shelter. Every member of the community was responsible for the wellbeing of the community, and if someone consistently violated their responsibilities, they were ostracized from the community and their chances of survival were low.

Historically, communities provided us with mental, … Read the rest

Where Have All the Citizens Gone

I was recently interviewed on Café & Networks, a podcast out of Brazil that explores thought leaders from around the world. Tom Reaoch, the American host of the show and I had a pre-interview conversation, and out of that came a thought that got me wondering.

Where have all the citizens gone?

Once upon a time, not so long ago, we were all called citizens.  We were  citizens and we were people who lived in communities with a sense of citizen responsibility to our community and country. Tom Reaoch said “I haven’t heard the word citizen for a long time, we now are called consumers.” I wondered, could this be true?

As I thought about it, it did seem to be true. Our government calls us clients and voters, but rarely uses the word citizen. Marketers, pundits and researchers call us consumers. And what do we call ourselves? I can’t remember in any of the thousands of conversations I … Read the rest

We Are Changing How the World Treats Communities

Something New is Coming

We are launching The Happy Community Builders Network

We are creating a magical place where literally, together, we can change how the world honours communities

Why are we Creating a New Platform?

You have told us you want to:

  • Meet other people who care about communities
  • Share ideas about making happier communities
  • Be part of a group of people like you who are making happier communities
  • Connect with individuals who share a common interest in community
  • Find resources that can help your community
  • Find ways to collaborate with other community builders

What will The Happy Community Builders Network do?

The Happy Community Builders Network will:

  • Bring people who care about community together from around the world
  • Enable you to create your own interest group – eg Intergenerational Connectedness Group or the Townville Happy Community Group
  • Access resources and training only available on this platform
  • Participate in live events or create your own live event
  • Tell people
Read the rest