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

New Story New Way

Language Matters When Creating Change

Diversity, Personal Sovereignty and Community

There were 20 people on the call, people from all over the world. Some people like Kris sat quietly as they listened to the Coffee Connections conversation. Others like Meghan, Kathi and Linda were passionately sharing their ideas.  The question on the table was “I believe Happy Communities __________________. Fill in the blank.

People dove into the deep end and got into the real substance of the question.  Farida, an English teacher from Colombia, wondered whether happiness is possible unless you have the basic needs satisfied first. Asem was raised in Jordan and now lives in the Netherlands. He has observed the corrosive effect wealth has on community cohesion.  Mike lives in a small village in England near Wales. He brought out the importance of how local control over centralized control affects community wellbeing. Others from North America engaged in conversations about family, belonging and caring.

What we have learned … Read the rest

The Price of Doing Good.

The cost of doing good can be painful.

On December 2nd, we had our monthly Happy Community Coffee Connections (The next one is January 6th). Although I had set a topic for discussion, it soon became apparent that the reason people came was to talk about the price they pay for doing good.

It started when Kathi who shared her story of how her project attracted a ‘bully.” Then Linda shared how her well-meaning intentions and generosity were met by those few people whose job in the world is to be mean spirited. She had left personal gifts at the door of those she felt were themselves in need of kindness. Some people with the heart of Grinch felt it was their duty to challenge Linda about her motives, make false accusations about where the money came from, and boost their own self righteousness at Linda’s expense.

Soon, the others at the Coffee Connections started … Read the rest

What would happen if….?

The myth that individual prosperity equals happiness:

Beliefs drive us, not our rational mindsets

About 30 years ago, researchers in psychology and neuroscience made a profound discovery: our beliefs are the main driver of our behavior. They came to the conclusion that humans are not the logical, rational beings we would like to think we are. Instead, we form beliefs that can be irrational, illogical and inconsistent, and we behave according to these beliefs. Have you ever wondered why some people do what you might consider “silly things”, not just once, but consistently?

And then I got to thinking, are the beliefs we hold in the developed world the reason we do things that seem to be making such a dark future for ourselves?

What are the beliefs that we hold dear that enable us to do things so destructive for the environment and our common good? What makes us afraid to challenge the status quo? Why do … Read the rest

Thanks Giving Hope

Thanks Giving Thoughts

Thank Giving is a time to be grateful and hopeful. Lately I have been talking with young people about our future.

Young people are generally terrified for their future. They see the future as a dark place that they do not want to spend to much time thinking about. And who can blame them.

But our future doesn’t have to be so dark. At the Happy Community Project, I have been diligently trying to mitigate our children’s future. And I have found plenty to be grateful for and hopeful for.

Most people today recognize the challenges the future will bring and most people say they want a different outcome than the path we are on. They want a path where we embrace the values for Common Good which transcends environmental, community, political, technological, educational, legal and business domains.  They want us to strive for a higher purpose than economic growth and personal prosperity.

They want us to … Read the rest

Local Business Sponsorship is Lopsided:

How to provide real change in your community without being invisible

The importance of our local businesses is underrated Your local business often doesn’t  get the recognition you deserve from a community sponsorship perspective. As a neighbours and friends, local business provides the backbone support for many of our not for profits and service organizations. Yet these businesses are often lumped in with the same values of big business like Walmart and Amazon. This can feel lopsided.

These larger businesses are driven by bigger profits, and often erode the values that are fundamental to our human experience in our community. When the focus is primarily on GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and profits at the expense of the common good, values such as integrity and human respect are eroded and the environment we depend on is abused to the point of no return.


Overlooking the positive role small business places in capitalism

Although there is  a strong argument as to Read the rest

Do social connections include machines?

We are in an epic era of depression and loneliness and the technology world is always there to pick up on an opportunity. But is this the solution we want?

Well, whether we want it or not, people in the AI world are finding ways to take advantage of the commercial opportunities to exploit people’s loneliness.

For example, there are several versions of the hug a bot. You can get anything from a virtual hug to a ‘real’ hug from your favorite machine that adjusts itself to fit you perfectly?

But if you need more than a hug, and you need a best friend to talk to, well there are several contenders coming to the forefront. These Artificial intelligence machines want to be your best friend.  Well actually, Google and Facebook want them to be your best friend.

Of course, sometimes we just need a helping hand. If we are unwell, maybe we need someone to bring us food, medicine … Read the rest