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The joys of community

November 14, 2022

On Friday night on my way home from work, I witnessed a hit and run. The person who was hit was just a little younger then myself and her driver’s side door was totally smashed in. I decided to stay with her as it was getting dark and it was on a busy street. As we waited for the police, another person who had observed the accident came to show us some camera shots that were taken of the car. As we sat in my car waiting she called insurance and family members and we just chatted for a bit. I followed her for awhile to make sure the car was not losing fluids or had more problems. It was only a little encounter but reminded me that I need to get out of my head to see people around me. It was a joy to connect with her for just a short while.

On Saturday we had a community event in Winton and people came together to celebrate life, listen to some music, receive some resources, have a good meal and just enjoy our diversity. What fun! I even tried to dance (hopefully nobody videoed that!). It was such joy to be together again.
I reconnected with people I had not seen since COVID started, including a family who brought me a bottle of wine and a beautiful mug as a thank you for helping them with some paper work. It was such joy to reconnect and see the freedom that came with the little paper.
On Sunday morning at church I saw a group of men from the Rescue Mission serving as greeters, and the joy in their eyes to be part of community was infectious.
We have lived in such isolation for the last 2 years that we don’t know how much fun community gathering can be. We forgot that helping one person always has a ripple effect. We forgot that giving of our time, treasures and talents can change our lives as well as change someone else’s life.
Cesar Chavez said “We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspiration and needs of others, for their sakes and for our sake.”
As we enter the holiday season I want to look for opportunities to be part of community, look for ways to engage with others, see what is needed and think through how we can be part of bringing and receiving joy.
PS What I did not tell you was that I had lost my temper on Friday morning and that was not a pretty sight, and the connection with community reset my attitude and helped me enjoy life again.

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