Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Love of Community

During my relatively brief occupancy on this earth, I have heard anecdotes that, during hard times, we tend to band together. This certainly isn't the first economic downturn in my lifetime, but I think most baby-boomers agree that it is the most severe in our generation's memory. Not to be nauseatingly Pollyanna-ish here, but surely it will get better someday. And, hopefully, the lessons we take away from it are growing pains of the post-World War II generation.

We've been an individualistic generation--for good, but also to an extreme. Remember, among others, sayings like, "Do your own thing?" "Finding oneself" is healthy, but sometimes I think we (me included) became a little too selfish and short-sighted. Building a global community (not hard with today's technology) is vital to humanity's survival, AND individual emotional and spiritual health.

Personally, my church community has been a large "food group" in my psychological nourishment. It has restored my sense of civic responsibility, and, frankly, made me feel more accountable on a daily basis. My last post was about the ACAC, and a joint drive to give needy children in "the system" basic school supplies. Every week, we have calls for donations of food and clothing items, and it's amazing how, even when finances are tight for many of us, we can spare something to give to the local food bank. The list goes on of the outreach projects of our church members, and many of us have our individual endeavors to help our fellow humans. It honors me to be in this group of like-minded citizens.

Last night, the City of Burbank held a class in a local library, in which composting, conservation of water and other resources, and drought-tolerant lawn alternatives were discussed. As I contemplated how I might make my own premises "greener," I looked around at a room that was filled to capacity, and seeing so many people interested in these topics filled me with hope and pride for our city.

Then, there's my private "circle." As I get older, I really cherish my friends, neighbors, and family all the more. It's my loving duty and privilege to offer my time, advice, and any material resources to those I can, building links of love and support that benefit me as well. I'm so grateful to you all for sharing my life.

As we sing in church each week,

"From you I receive, to you I give.
Together we share, and from this we live."

As this Great Recession wanes into history, let's not forget what we've gained from it. We said we were the "love generation;" let's make our legacy prove it.
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