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September 21, 2005

We can't do it all by ourselves

I read something yesterday that was right along the lines I was thinking. The word "Community" could be read "Common" "Unity," meaning that we have to have some common base of beliefs and values to bring us together as a community. Some of those are obvious, like our belief that each human being should be free. But there are some consequences living with other human beings. There are also common problems to deal with and it's easy to step on other people's freedoms when one person takes more freedom than others. For instance if a person in your community steals from you, it's a problem. It really is a community problem because there is no 'common' 'unity' in the belief that it's ok to steal from others. Most people in the community would feel violated and betrayed by having something stolen from their house.
The other thing to note about commuty is that one person cannot do it all. One person cannot repair all the houses, stay up all night watching for that thief, mow all the lawns and sweep all the sidewalks, take care of the neighborhood park and garden, run after-school programs for the neighborhood kids, check on the elderly, etc. These are all things that it takes a community of people to do. The one thing all these people have in common is a unity in the belief that what they are doing makes their community a better place to live. If each person decides to find those common beliefs of unity and DO something toward that cause, then it's a nice place to be. If we are truthful about it, we must realize that we can't live life alone, with no other people. We are inter-dependant and what we do in our communities effects everyone else. What are we choosing to contribute? The beauty of a community is that we don't have to do it all by ourselves. If the community is falling down, we need to find that common unity again. Life, liberty, freedom, are all things we take for granted sometimes and things we deny other people when we take more than we give. Yes, sometimes we give and give and give and still there are some who will take, take, take. So how do you deal with those? Expell them from the community? Educate them on community values? I wish there was an easy answer, but we have to keep doing our part, whatever that is. We cannot do it all by ourselves, so we have to get others involved in solving the community problems. Just like we form block clubs to help watch our neighborhoods and get to know each other. That's a good start. Partnerships between neighborhood businesses and clubs and churches would be nice. Our common unity is all about joint beliefs in living a happy life. Let's work together and build a good community. This pervasive, 'every person for themselves' idea is shortsighted and leads to distrust and unrest. It tears apart communities, like the thief who steals your family heirlooms.
Every person for themselves means everyone has to do everything all by themselves. It's not practical. Ok, then start making your own clothes and building your own car and house and paving your own roads so you can drive. Yes, that's extreme but it does illustrate the point that we are not alone and can't do it all alone. We are not in this life to go it alone either. Coming together is a natural thing. But once we come together we have to work together and do our parts. Or we are not pulling our weight in the community. We are taking but not putting back.
We are all in this life together. That's a good thing. Now what kind of community can we build and maintain together? How can I contribute?

Posted by carl1236 at September 21, 2005 7:57 AM | Attitude


I love your idea of unity. As a chinese, I live in Hong Kong and used to work independently. People don't care each other. Inspired by your idea, we should try to "give" more. We should care more about others. It will pay off finally.
Community is the effort of us.
Thank for blogging

Posted by: Kwok Tsz Ho at September 21, 2005 7:36 PM

Thank you!!! I really appreciate your comments. Here we are sharing the same thoughts from the opposite sides of the planet.

Thanks to you, this is now an international blog, haha.


Posted by: John at September 22, 2005 1:09 AM