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Cultivating Community

November 29, 2012

In my book “Getting By: Lessons From a Rural Past” community is a focus. In today’s fast paced, jet fueled world we need more cultivation of community.

We need more old fashioned things like Sunday dinners, porch parties, gathering with friends, town parades, annual celebrations and other things. This doesn’t have to be major things to start. Take a plate of cookies or loaf of homemade bread to the new neighbors. Have friends over for a Saturday night potluck and cards rather than going out to expensive entertainment. Pitch in to help a church, or go to the local shelter and help animals or humans down on their luck. Reach out to another living being not with expectation to get anything back, but just to share a moment.

This isn’t rocket science folks! Reach out. Shovel the sidewalk and help an elderly neighbor. That family that suffered a loss – take them a dinner. If you don’t cook stop and get a pizza or bucket of chicken – it’ll be $15 well spent to make a difference for folks for no reason other than you can. Look around your community, whether it be online or off. Look at your neighbors not with criticism but as a means to help.

If everyone sought to help others there’d be less room for hate. There would be less room for interference if we changed to helping without reservation. And it is true that not all will take it…some don’t want to feel that they “owe” someone else. That can be hard to get through – but in the spirit of giving it can reach out in ways more than words.

This too often is seen around Christmas and disappears the rest of the year. Don’t let it. Be that person that keeps it going.

Cultivate community. It’s the best crop America has.

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