Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Tip#172: Cultivate Community, Part 1 - Witness

Impersonal attitudes in a big city can sometimes deaden our need for community spirit. So it is more important than ever not to stay locked in our iPod worlds and keep people around us shut out. Cultivating community is key to keeping our own spirits alive.

Witness (1985)

Recently I happened to catch a movie I haven't seen in years called Witness starring Harrison Ford as police officer John Book. Book is a good cop needing to hideout in an Amish community to protect himself and a young Amish boy. What unfolded was a refreshing break from the overwhelming noise and technology of a big city where green fields ruled and blue skies were clean and clear.

The Amish community represented the back to basics approach to living and Book was eventually able to fit in. There is a scene where the community joins in for a "barn raising" day to help a new couple build their first barn. The spirit of neighborly love was so strong in this scene. You see every man, woman and child contribute in some meaningful and joyful way.

The movie was a great reminder that this same sense of community must be kept alive in a big city. As mentioned in tip#150 How Full Is Your Bucket?, it's about filling each other's bucket with positive energy. That energy builds positive emotions for feeling good and can create many positive outcomes.

The Blackout of Summer 2003

The blackout of summer 2003 was a memorable instigator of positive emotional energy. In my downtown Toronto location it brought business neighbours together and vibrant conversations were alive for days. Other neighborhoods got to know each other through daily barbecues to cook food that couldn't be refrigerated anymore.

The silver lining of community disasters is that they can bring out the compassionate, human side of people. Meaningful connections can be made quickly.

So let's not wait for local disasters to hit us in order to practice a sense of community right now. Take the time to notice the people you see on a regular basis. Make friendly eye contact and give a simple smile when you can. Start filling each other's buckets with positive energy. You may be pleasantly surprised to find what one friendly hello can initiate.

Related Tips:
Tip#172: Cultivate Community, Part 1 – Witness
Tip#651: Cultivate Community, Part 2 - Defiance
Tip#656: Cultivate Community, Part 3 – Swapsity - Phenomenon 
Tip#658: Cultivate Community, Part 4 – Into the White
Tip#668: Cultivate Community, Part 5 – Be Kind Rewind 
Tip#686: Cultivate Community, Part 6 – Ip Man
Tip#687: Cultivate Community, Part 7 – Rotary Club - Groundhog Day
Tip#707: Cultivate Community, Part 8 – Movie Nights - Christmas in Connecticut
Tip#781: Cultivate Community, Part 9 - The Hundred-Foot Journey
Tip#853: Cultivate Community, Part 10 - Endurance - McFarland, USA
Tip#41: Recognize The Support Around You
Tip#137: Nurture Good Friends
Tip#138: Leverage What You Have

Emmanuel Lopez
Motivational Specialist & Motivational Wingman
© Emmanuel Lopez 2008

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