Association and the Abundant Community

AssociationThe post below is by NBB member Riet Schumack from the February NBB Newsletter.

An abundant community does not focus on problems and differences, but on gifts, talent, dreams and possibilities. We each have our own problems and shortcomings—nobody has to tell us about them. When we focus on those issues, we occupy ourselves with what divides us and with things that often can’t be changed. But by focusing—as a  community—on our gifts, dreams and ideas, we build on what unites us. We build on possibilities. This is where association comes in.

An association is a group of people working together on a common goal. When we get together with other people who have similar dreams and ideas and put aside our individual differences, our pooled gifts and talents allow us to achieve things that wouldn’t be possible on our own. NBB’s committees are examples of associations: groups of people passionate about certain key aspects of community-building such as safety, land use and youth. Some associations are centered around gifts and resources such as volunteer management, finances, communication and physical resources, while others are organized around common activities, like our market gardeners work group. We also have as yet unnamed associations like small groups who are concerned about the Eliza Howell Nature Trail, interested in collecting maple syrup from neighborhood trees, beekeeping, and our latest one, starting some sort of dog club. All of these associations form NBB’s framework. These associations are the roof under which our community shelters. They are the frame to which we attach the protective walls of kindness, generosity, hospitality, forgiveness, caring and cooperation.

Associating yourself with others increases the effectiveness of your gifts and talents. We invite you to come to our next NBB meeting, at 6:30 pm on February 7 at St. Christine’s Soup Kitchen to find out where you can find a place to join others to make our neighborhood a better place.

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