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Find Ways to Connect with your Community

by | Jul 16, 2020

Week 18: Ideas for simple community engagement

  1. Take your sunglasses off at the drive-thru, look the attendant in the eye and acknowledge them.
  2. Bring gloves and a small bag to pick up litter on your next walk around the block.
  3. Greet the security guard at the door of your next shopping trip. Thank them for being there.
  4. Compliment a stranger.
  5. Tell a neighbor how beautiful their yard is.

Commentary:

Knowing how to engage with your community is a lost art. Maybe our generation thinks it’s more polite to keep to yourself but I think it’s making us all feel more isolated and often fearful of each other for no good reason. We blabber on social media but are often silent IRL.

I remember my mother used to talk to strangers all the time growing up. She would ask questions of people sitting next to her on the plane. She would compliment people on their yards while we took walks. She grew up in a small town and this was just part of being neighborly to her.

Mostly I was embarrassed about it. My insecure young self thought everyone should stay silent. What if the other person thinks you’re WEIRD or ANNOYING?!

As an adult, I can see how silly that is. Whose day isn’t brightened by a random compliment or friendly hello? I honestly believe that if we talked to our neighbors more, acknowledged (w/ eye-contact & a smile), and showed gratitude to the people doing jobs we otherwise ignore, the world would be a far better place.

I want my son to feel like he belongs to his hometown, that he is invested in the welfare of our street, our neighborhood, and the magnificent array of people putting masks on their faces & their lives on the line every day for someone else’s benefit. Sometimes we go on scavenger hunts as a fun way to get out and look at the world with new perspective.

Talking about and modeling small acts like what I’ve shown here is an easy way to start showing him that his Dad and I care about the environment and the people around us. What would you add? How do you help your children connect with their community? The sunglasses thing btw, that’s totally a pet-peeve of mine. 🙂

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Somer Loomis

Somer is the Chief Content Officer at Birth2Work living in Redondo Beach, California with her husband and three-year-old son. She spent 10 years in the architecture field as a designer and medical planner and now applies her love of integrative thinking and big-picture planning to her family and career. Read full bio >>

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