This continues our lessons, or patterns, on how to remain mindful to the task of sustainable development through personal action and change

Problem:
There seems to be, these days, a continual expression of a need, or desire, for “community”. This may or may not be based on a false hope or idea of the past – but it does point to something that is perceived as missing – perhaps: local connections.

“I knew the people two offices away from me better than my neighbours. And that is really silly.” Establishment of local connections are important in other respects: peer support and encouragement (Pattern 7) and leading by example rather than lecturing or nagging (Pattern 11). So are opportunities to “put a flag in the sand.” “I said I wish to be engaged with community again.” “… an opportunity to put your hand up.”

For such actions to be effective, they need to be visible. One potential prompt to “kickstart” participation can be “… seeing a group that is enjoying themselves and is alive [and] with whom they might never otherwise mix.” “… community  – sharing. The fun and value of working these things out together.” “… the street-meet thing – builds community spirit. … Now there is too much anonymity.”

The creation and support of such groups is consistent with the idea that we need to be more active in creating the contexts within which decisions that address our current complexities can form. And the denser these groupings, the greater will be the life and activity (community) within this context.

Solution:

Through both government and non-government arrangements, create, resource, value and publicise as many opportunities as possible for people of different backgrounds and interests to do things together:  visible opportunities for people to ‘put their hand up’.