Community is a Nebulous Word
A large group with a shared interest is referred to as a community, such as my extended family of Natural Awakenings publishers or Penn State’s Nittany Nation. But community is also a nebulous word, with many subtle meanings, interpretations and applications.
My family can be the center of my community. After all, it does take a village to raise a child. I also belong to several online communities, interacting virtually with people I don’t see often or have never met. Our churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and sacred circles, whether local, online or held in our hearts, constitute the hub of our spiritual community.
Most people live in a community of neighbors, sharing physical proximity with each other, supporting local businesses, using municipal resources such as schools, roads, police and fire services, and interacting in social, cultural and political engagement.
Sustainable living starts with each of us individually and thrives in a cooperative and engaged local community. Each month, Natural Awakenings features the leaders, teachers, facilitators and businesses that compel us toward action for living a more sustainable life.
Our June issue features a discussion of the variables that constitute a livable community, and the AARP Index referenced on page 28 will provide access to your local rankings for housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement and opportunity.
Through awareness and active participation, each of us can have a positive impact on the livability in our local community. The cumulative result of numerous communities becoming cleaner and healthier could result in additional positive impacts on concerns such as ozone depletion and atmospheric warming, standards for air and water quality and waste management, which affect us globally, unlimited by boundaries and maps. Our individual and local actions have a cumulative positive effect on our planet.
Madisyn Taylor, of Daily Om, writes, “The Earth and everything on it is bound by an invisible connection between people, animals, plants, the air, the water and the soil. Insignificant actions on your part, whether positive or negative, can have an impact on people and the environment that seem entirely separate from your personal realm of existence.”
We have a vested interest in everyone and everything around us. Starting at our local level, we are ultimately a global community, seeking a new and more beautiful world, by feeling good, living simply and laughing more.