Helping other people is something I like to think of as a core part of my being. I love being a member of the team and achieving "stuff" with others. It doesn't really matter whether it is big stuff or small stuff, its about creating something meaningful together. But sometimes I need a push to rediscover the satisfaction of helping.
We can easily become complacent and bypass opportunities to help in small ways. Whether it be walking past someone who needs a hand, or being reluctant to ask why someone doesn't seem their best, or how we could help. I am guilty of these and many other things, but occassionally I am reminded how important it is to make every relationship and every moment count.
My relationships with my neighbours have come to the fore for me this week. A few things have happened recently that have made me grateful to have such good people in my street. But the event that made me really appreciate them was something quite mundane. My neighbour across the road left her car lights on, running a dodgy battery flat. After I had strategically positioned my car on her front lawn, jumper leads connected and we were still staring at the engines, my next door neighbour and his son sauntered over to help and gave us the advice we needed until - hey presto!
The event in itself was nothing earth shattering, unique or uncommon. But the trust and familiarity I felt between my neighbours gave me that feeling of family. Its something about not having to ask for help but having it offered, the respect for each other's strengths and weaknesses, and the way that knowledge is shared, as well as the stuff that is left unsaid. It is safe and it is nurturing, and it is special.
If one of the keys to effective community building is creating shared positive experiences, then we can start this in little ways every day simply by looking out for each other. Reflect on the opportunities you have, every day, to make your community stronger, and make every moment count.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!