Community Happens Where you Live

Community Happens Where you Live

What does community mean to you? Is it an abstract concept that occurs through the efforts of other people? Is it a product of government and laws passed far from where you live? How do we define community and how do we live as a community?

I was thinking about these questions as I was trick or treating with my kids this weekend. I thought about how lucky I was to live is such a safe and peaceful community where I can let me kids play outside with little supervision and not have to worry about whether they would be safe or not.

I don’t have to worry about my children being shot at in the front yard, or being kidnapped, or having an explosive device go off and kill them.

Do I thank the troops that I live in a safe community? Do I thank the police or the firemen? Do I thank some government bureaucrat?

The truth is that none of these people are really responsible for whether my community is a good, safe place. We are responsible for that, each and every individual. By having respect for ourselves, and our neighbors, by watching out for each other we make our communities what they are. And when our communities are bad, and unsafe, then it is individuals who are responsible for that too.

Community doesn’t happen because of what occurs in Washington D.C. or even in our state capitals. Community is what happens where we live because of the people who live in that community. And it is up to each of us to make our communities safe places. No bureaucrat hundreds or thousands of miles away can know what is in the best interest of every person in every community. Each community is as unique as the individuals that make up that community.

What is good for me and my community may not be good for urban Chicago, or rural Oklahoma. And what is good for Washington D.C. and all its politicians, lobbyists, and special interests is generally not good for anybody but them.

Most policemen, soldiers, and firefighters are good and honest people, but they are not community, nor are they the only ones who can make a community free, safe, and prosperous. They are merely members of the community – no better, no worse, they are merely human beings doing their jobs the same as the rest of us.

We all have a responsibility to ourselves, those we love, and our neighbors to do our best to create vibrant, safe, and prosperous communities. We need to look to make a difference within our communities and find solutions to our own problems instead of letting people who do not know what is in our best interest make decisions for us.

We need to be the change we wish to see. We need to be good neighbors. We need to be good community citizens. It all begins right here, right now, where we live. And if we can make our own communities good, prosperous, and safe, we can be an example to other communities.

Community begins where you live. It begins with the things you do and your participation in the community you live in. If you want a nice community to leave it to someone else. Take action where you live right here and now.

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