What is your relationship like with your community?
I ask this because I am inspired by the holiday season and the sense of community that seems to intensify during it each year. Your community is where you have decided to call home, to work, to spend your hard earned money, and maybe raise a family. You have put some level of trust into this place and it is a living, breathing, ever evolving relationship just like one you have with another person. As with any relationship, you will get out of it what you put into it.
For a few weeks we are given a multitude of opportunities to connect with each other during a time with less than ideal weather when we would rather stay home under our blankets. My hope is that you are taking advantage of these chances to allow your relationship with your community to grow. This includes appreciating the actual physical space, making connections with other community members, and learning more about how your community came to be. You might define your community as simple boundary lines of a town or as a larger undefined local area or even a specific population. Regardless, there is always room for your relationship with it to grow. Use these challenges to help you with this goal and continue the “spirit of the season” into the new year, and possibly all year long!
- Look at lights around your town or in a nearby community
- Thank someone in a community service job (ie: fire department, village hall)
- Look up local organizations and find out what you can do to help (donate, volunteer)
- Shop locally and meet the store owner
- Go somewhere new you have not yet been
- Gift something or a service to your neighbors
- Go to your favorite place in your community
- Meet your local government
- Learn the history of your community – try your library!
- Read a local publication
- Research significant people from your community
- Look for an event nearby, try one of these websites
Joy Walsh is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at The Lighthouse Emotional Wellness Center. The Lighthouse, located in Schaumburg, IL, was the first emotional wellness center to be established in the Midwest over 15 years ago, serving as a guiding light towards healthy relationships. Our counseling services are provided for couples, families and individuals, to assist them in creating happy, healthy and empowered lives. For more information, check us out at www.LighthouseEmotionalWellness.com, or call us at 847-253-9769.