Friday, September 2, 2011
The Value of Community in Crises
Here in the Northeast, Hurricane Irene wrecked havoc in many local communities. Families, neighbors, and local businesses have been destroyed by floods and high winds, many still without power.
Crises like this reveal the true beauty and power of community and connection. At these times we rise up together and lend a hand. We feel each other's pain, are grateful for what we have not lost, and find the time - and the drive - to help. But then, sadly, we retreat into our inner circles and forget the power of what we can create together.
One of our biggest challenges - and frustrations - here at the Holistic Moms Network is that we are all about building community. We understand how valuable community is, not only in crisis, but every single day. We recognize the power of connection, the energy behind being supported, and the difference that we can make collectively. We believe that communities are what make our culture successful - and that apathy and a lack of participation is what destroys it. And we see far too much of the latter. Online communities don't cut it. Facebook friends can't help you bail out your basement, remove the tree from your roof, or give you a safe place to stay in a storm. Virtual forums can't give you a hug, watch your kids while you clean up a mess, or cook you a hot meal in your time of need.
Real people can. Real communities can. And some of our proudest moments come during these times. Whether in illness or injury, or a life-changing event like having a new baby, Holistic Moms communities rise up to support their members. Many of our Chapters deliver meals and supplies to local member families during these times - give real support and meet critical needs. Our members encourage each other through the rough times - the sleepless nights, the breastfeeding challenges, the teen rebellions. And we work together to make widespread changes by supporting companies who share our mission, by empowering one another to make positive choices, and by sharing our experience and wisdom about how to live healthier and greener.
But overcoming apathy is an uphill battle. Constantly encouraging people to participate, to get involved, and to be active is not always easy. We are so insular in our daily lives that we forget how wonderful it is to have that group connection - not only when a crisis hits, but even in the good times. A simple conversation, a shared experience, or a helping hand can make the difference. Be part of it, in real life, in real time, every day. Find the time, create the opportunity, and be part of a community. Feed your soul, help another, and make a difference. It's up to you. If we all stop participating, we have no one but ourselves to blame when the communities we depend upon no longer exist.
Posted by Mama at Friday, September 02, 2011