Time to invest in Community

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Here we are, 2016 and in too many ways not enough has changed when we look at society and the state of our communities. When I turn on the news, I see headline after headline about death- someone got shot, whether it be by the police or civilian, assaulted, robbed, stabbed, civil rights being violated every way possible- the list goes on and on. If we’re being real with ourselves, we gotta acknowledge that we’re living in a self-serving, self-centered, and self-obsessed society filled with folks who relish in emitting negative energy and tearing each other down.

And  if you’re a parent as I am, you may find yourself wondering what kind of world did I bring my kids into???

The level of disconnect is so prevalent throughout society today. It’s as if there is no sense of community left. The sense of looking out for one another, the sense of being responsible for someone other than yourself, the want to support and empower one another. This sentiment, in too many communities, seems to have gone by the wayside.

I believe in standing in solidarity with my community and advocating for not only my civil rights, but for those who aren’t able to speak out on the social injustice that occurs every day, in damn near every community in this country.

And I believe that we are stronger when we band together than when we attempt to fight alone, but the reality is too many of us don’t know how to fight together anymore. Too many of us are so busy trying to get ahead, that we focus only on helping ourselves. Some folks in the social justice world are so busy thinking that their organization has to be The One to solve our community’s problems, that they fail to truly collaborate and share resources with others who are fighting the same fight. They lose sight of the fact that a community is not made up of only one person or organization, and the issues that our communities face will not be overcome if we don’t begin pooling our resources and working together by acknowledging the talents and strengths of other agencies and putting them to use.

I believe that on a deeper level, we all know that we have been designed to live for something far greater than merely ourselves. If we could, just for one moment, consider how the act of supporting one another and aiding in someone else’s success (however we as individuals define success), will ultimately result in significant benefits for all involved.

This is why it is so crucial that we embrace, celebrate, nurture, respect and support one another. We must honor our differences and unique experiences because there is much we can learn from one another.

Let’s change the cycle and re-invest in our communities. Take some time to visualize precisely how and to whom you can become connected or re-connected with and what ways you can be the most supportive. Be encouraging, understanding, share knowledge and be positive. Let’s empower one another and help others to be open for better things to come. And in helping others, we will in turn help ourselves.

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