General Question

burntbonez's avatar

What do you do to build community?

Asked by burntbonez (5197points) December 14th, 2012

Like on fluther, do you ever ask questions designed to bring people together, or to get them to share parts of themselves? Or do you do anything else not just for yourself, but for the community?

What about in real life? Do you do any organizing? Hold parties? Get involved in community activities? If so, what do you do?

Finally, why do you think you take on this role? Do you owe the community anything? Is it your personality? Is there some other reason?

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13 Answers

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gailcalled's avatar

I love the community in which I have, surprisingly, ended up for my golden years. Having lived in the major cities in the NE for most of my life, I moved to small-town, rural mid NE NYS in 1986, almost by accident.

It has clean air, clean water, one stop light in town, no traffic jams, a diversity of population, no visible homeless people, one small movie theater ($5) and a main street where everyone knows your name.

I do what I can for the local environmental, conservation and political organizations. When a cement plant tries to muscle in and wants to spew particulate matter into the air, I do my part.

I volunteer actively for the Dem. party and work during local elections. I also help out with local cultural and arts-related activities.

There are sharply divided views on political issues but we are all courteous to each other and gnash our teeth mainly in private. I would never discuss politics with the guy who mows my lawn or plows my driveway.

I do most of my food purchases at the local coop, which sells seasonal and local fresh produce, dairy, baked goods, jams and honey, and free-range meat for those who are still eating meat.

Now that I am retired and have the time and some energy left, how can I not try to help keep this community beautiful, healthy and worthy of the next generation?

wundayatta's avatar

I think it’s important to give back to the community. I think it’s something you should do without wanting thanks or needing any notice. I learned to have an “organization head” in my first job out of college. They trained us how to think about what was best for the organization, not just for you, and that stuck.

A lot of things I do are for the group. When I’m in a group, I could easily take up a lot of time with things I say, but I am always conscious of that, and I limit myself and sometimes I don’t talk at all so that other people can talk. I am always watching how other people are doing, and thinking about whether there’s something I can do to make them feel more comfortable.

Well, not always, since if I hate a person, I’m not so concerned, although even then, I won’t just tee off on them and try to get them to go away. I feel that everyone plays a role that’s important, even if they hurt me. So you almost never see my real feelings when I’m in pain. I hold back so as not to hurt the community. Whatever you see from me, you know my real feelings are probably a good deal stronger.

I assume most people do that, though. It’s called being polite. And it’s to help cohesiveness. But I also advocate for greater freedom for people so that more people will feel comfortable. I’ll take the heat for others, many times. I’m the guy who gets blamed for everything. It’s funny. It’s a joke, but it works. It frees people a bit to take more risks, knowing they can blame it on you.

Sunny2's avatar

Communicate! It drives me mad that the condo building I reside in does nothing to foster the forty units being a community. I’m a renter, so I’m not welcome to participate in decision making, but I join in whenever there is a call to help with planting or holiday events (although the latter have been discontinued because of lack of attendance.) There is continual moving in and moving out and no attempt at all to help people get to know each other. A missed opportunity and a continuance of the isolation of city living.

Coloma's avatar

I’ve been a community 4-H project leader in my neck o ‘the words when my daughter was growing up. I have also volunteered for and taken in animals for my local wildlife rescue, specializing in waterfowl rehab.
I have an on call moonlighting job at my local, second hand, river thrift store here in my small community. I’ve also always had a fantasy about running a ranch for inner city kids , but, so far it remains a fantasy. I’d love to educate kids about nature and wildlife and raising farm animals and gardening. I can see that rustic bunkhouse in my minds eye right now
Get along little doggies. :-)

Crashsequence2012's avatar

I give of myself literally.

I donate blood.

O Positive bitchez!!

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I am intimately involved with theater arts in my community. I sit on the board of directors of the local community theater helping to run the organization and making sure it remains vibrant for future generations.

I also act, direct, and manage productions for the organization. Theater is my passion. Bringing great works to the stage in a small town is important to the culture of the area.

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kitszu's avatar

I grew up in a medium-large town in OH. I didn’t feel like part of anything there. I moved to a small borough in PA not too long ago and got a job with an amazing small, family owned company. I was always oriented towards “community” and other people, I have very strong maternal insticts and I want to take care of people, even back in OH when I didn’t feel part of anything. I made myself part of things by being others “go to” when they needed something. Obviously, I got used more than making myself “a part”. The job I have now, has helped me grow a real backbone, and cultivated real strength. They welcomed me with open arms, have taken good care of me, took the time to train me properly so I actually had a shot at moving up in the company, recognised what I did and was capable of bringing to the table. Super sappy, I know, but this place and this job has completely changed my life for the better. Some of them have become parts of my inner circle family, others a few circles out. Sixty-odd employees in a small industrial town working for a small family business whose owner takes damn good care of them. Because he believes it’s the right thing to do. Damn right I feel the need to contribute. I would do it anyway or find a new job because that’s who I am but these people deserve my not only my best but also my devotion.

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Unbroken's avatar

My record is iffy. I could do more but also less.

In my community I have volunteered at various places. I have picked up litter before people started hiding certificates in it.

I listen to many of the town hall meetings, write to my congressmen and women.

I donate items on occasion or give a stranger a lift help the person on the roadside.

I participate but not in a way that any one counts on. I am the unnoticed extra hand. Helpful polite friendly but not engaging. I don’t commit.

At work it is a bit different. I make the special effort t make bright spots in people’s day. Get to know them draw them out share small victories with them advocate for them when I feel it necessary.

On the larger whole a forgotten face. Maybe I should change that.

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