Posted in community, Family

Creating Stronger Communities

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week at work and writing. Always with the writing! LOL! But I do love it. I can’t seem to stop.

Photo on Visualhunt.com

But enough about that. Today, I’d like to talk about creating stronger communities. It saddens me when I hear about school shootings or mass shootings in movie theaters or public places because these events are symptoms of a societal problem.

Photo on Visual Hunt

That problem is disconnection. When someone feels isolated and disconnected from society they exhibit symptoms of this by being violent to people who are close to them. That’s the first sign there’s a problem. We need to stop turning a blind eye to domestic violence. As with so many things, it all traces back to the home.

Photo on Visualhunt

Now we can blame poor parenting, throw our hands up in outrage, and point fingers. We can do that, but that doesn’t solve the problem, does it? And let’s be fair, none of us can say we’re perfect parents. We strive to be the best we can be, but there are days when we fall short. And in parenting, the most important job we have, there are no do-overs. You can’t go back and erase your mistakes.

So what can we do?

We can create communities where we all come together for the sake of the kids. I believe schools do an incredible job of offering extra-curricular activities be it sports or theater or clubs. However, what about the kids who don’t make the team? I think we need to create community centers within our cities where kids can go and play a pick-up game of basketball, or use a computer, or just hang out after school. A safe place to go with adult supervision until parents get home from work.

 

Photo credit: RobW_ on Visualhunt.comCC BY-NC-ND

I know some community centers exist, but we need more and they need to be affordable. It costs money to run these centers and that’s where I run into a snag because I don’t know where to get the funding. How about you, do you have any ideas? I’d love to hear from you so leave a comment and let me know you’re thoughts.

Author:

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.

29 thoughts on “Creating Stronger Communities

  1. I totally agree Lisa, we need more community ventures to give all a chance to find a group within which they ‘fit in’ and find support… but it takes time and effort…

  2. Youth groups are great places for helping kids connect, and to just have somewhere to go where they belong. I used to help run a youth group years ago when I lived in the UK and it is a huge commitment. But well worth it, I should add!

    1. That’s a great idea, Ruth! I hadn’t thought about that. We have Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, but again that costs money. I’d love to put something together that doesn’t cost a lot or have age restrictions. 🙂 My wheels are turning!

  3. Good thoughts here! I think you’re on to something. I have to admit, though, that when she was little, The Child wasn’t into team sports (I was secretly relieved, since I couldn’t stand the thought of spending weekends going to matches. Selfish Me.) Anyway. I don’t recall having any issues getting her together with like-minded kids and/or parents. But then, we live in New York, where pretty much everything you do involves a bunch of other people. At any rate, she didn’t grow up to be an axe murderer. Yet. So there’s that.

    1. LOL! I’m sure you were an awesome parent. I love your humor, and you’re right we have no trouble organizing play dates and what not, but I’m thinking of the kids who don’t get those opportunities, they’re the ones who end up isolated and that’s where the problems start. At least, that’s my humble opinion. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it!

  4. So, I’ve had a change in mindset regarding what I believe kids actually need, but I know I’m going to be the odd-one-out in my thinking. I truly believe communities were strongest before the 1930’s – when technology started to take over (cars, telephones, etc). People worked in their communities, they gathered at local ‘hotspots,’ neighbors helped each other out, kids gathered to play neighborhood games, etc.

    I’ve been studying my great-grandfather’s memoirs, and his stories are full of community fellowship. I think that our communities would be strongest if at least one parent could stay home with their children, or at least be home when children are released from school. Plus, structured activities are taking over entire days. Kids go from school to after-school activities or sports – arriving home in time for dinner, homework, and bed. There’s no time for neighbors to visit, kids to run off and play a pick-up game of baseball, or families to be involved in any other type of community involvement.

    Again, I know my thinking is old-school, but I truly hope people can slowly begin changing their mind-set from busy-is-best, to let’s slow down and meet our neighbors, play a family game of dominoes, or attend the Night to Unite in the neighborhood.

    Wonderful post, Lisa! Very thought-provoking.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Erin! And I agree with you 100%. I think it would be fantastic if one parent could stay home and be there for the kids. I stayed home when mine were born and it was awesome. I think I benefited from it as much as my kids did. You might be on to something about the thirties. I don’t think there were school shootings back then or as many anyway. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it!

    2. You’re not an odd-one-out, I don’t think. I believe we are on the cusp of a change. I think Lisa has a point about disconnection and I think we need more human contact-not computer mediated contact. How that happens exactly I’m not sure. But I think we need it.

      1. We sure do! I also wonder how and if that will ever change. It’s almost like going backward – away from the technological development of man. I wonder how many people would be willing to do that (as I sit here commenting on our blogs 🙂 ).

        I often have heated comments with my brother – he thinks every scientific development is so great for everyone. Me, not so much. He argues that we’ll never go “backwards”. I’m not so sure about that.

        I guess time will tell.

  5. Like the old saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Community centers provide guidance and a safe place for kids. And I know not all kids can afford or even want to play sports, so there’s always Boy and Girl Scout clubs, the arts like dancing, painting classes, music…and yeah writing courses for kids. It’s about giving kids a chance to choose things that will make them shine, and offering the availability of these opportunities. Cheers, Lisa! Thought provoking, as always!

  6. I don’t think it has to be community centers, but we really do need stronger communities. It is such a shame that we have lost so much of this with more nuclear families.

    I also think it could work really well if you had more places where older people that are lonely could meet up with younger folks. Or even some way to have childcare near old people’s homes so generations could mix more…

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Rachael. I’m curious what Lottery Funding is. I can guess but I want to make sure I’m right. If it’s what I think it is, it sounds like an awesome idea! 🙂

  7. I feel very strongly about the benefits of united communities. I’m lucky that I live in a town that has a lovely community vibe. I think cities especially need to concentrate on the community feeling (having lived in 4 different cities in my life, I’ve really seen the difference). Excellent post Lisa.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Haley. I think you’re right, cities do need to concentrate on creating that community feeling. I think the bigger the city the harder it is to create that feeling. We just need to figure that out how to do it. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. 🙂

  8. I find myself pulled in so many directions. And the distractions are numerous. I don’t know why kids (or anyone) pick up a gun to shoot. We all have theories and I’m no exception. The worry I have is when people in power pick up a complex problem, like gun violence, and assumes there is a single solution–a silver bullet to the bullet problem. There isn’t. Communities, human connection, empathy, there can be nothing BAD that comes from growth of these things. Becoming more tribal, like “I’m a part of this group and you’re not” is bad. But, coming together with diverse perspective and a general will to get along, to laugh, to celebrate the limited time we have on this planet is a GOOD thing. Wherever it is, wherever we can find it, let’s foster it and help it grow.

  9. Community support and awareness truly can make a difference. Banding together is a way to make positive change. This post really is a needed one in today’s world and thank you for it, Lisa ❤

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