When the world went berserk...
My granddaughter was just a few months old when Covid hit. For months her only community was her immediate family.
She was the only little person in the household. Her brother, at fourteen, was already adult height. The first time she encountered a person her size gave her such delight that she stood staring and laughing. We had to ask for pardon.
For a few weeks, I noticed how young children in the supermarkets would point out other children in awe. It was heartwarming and disturbing at the same time.
Fortunately for her, she comes from a loving family. Just three years on from “hard lock downs” she is the most gregarious, outgoing child. She passionately pursues playmates. Evidenced especially this past Saturday when the neighbourhood watch rallied the community to hold a market in the local playground.
Grandie elicited friendship from every encounter in that park. I watched her engaging on the slide with children twice her size and all colours (having grown up in “apartheid” Rhodesia — now Zimbabwe — I still find this a marvelous sight).
Her play area was just behind me as I manned my stall. At times I would find her seated there, sharing her toys with a tiny tot held upright by his parent squatting beside the mat.
One time, I looked back to see a fully grown young woman side-seated on the mat. She was introduced as “my big friend”. Courtney seemed as amused as I was, to find herself playing dolls with a preschool stranger — I beg your pardon — FRIEND.
Helen Keller put it simply: Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much.
The market achieved the required target to purchase the much needed CCTV street cameras that will assist community policing to combat crime in the area. Notice how gentle the word policing becomes when connected to community?
Christians seek fellowship, Buddhists seek sangha, Rig Vedic words are jana and vish. In South Africa, the word is ubuntu, described thus: “I am, because you are.” It speaks to the connectedness of all.
There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about ~~ Margaret J Wheatley
Former US president, Barak Obama, said in a speech in Johannesburg a few years ago, that UBUNTU described Nelson Mandela’s greatest gift: his recognition that:
We are all bound together in ways that can be invisible to the eye;
There is a oneness to humanity;
We achieve our fullest self by sharing ourselves with others, and caring for those around us.
Some know the camaraderie of community from their local Coffee Klatch, or you may remember it as a time of sharing around a camp fire. My friend Haseena Patel says, “Community hugs us, protects us, creates a space to BE, fills our BE-ings and strengthens us”.
I love it described as “holding space for one another.” How thankful I was for modern tech during lockdowns. I was able to commune with friends and family all over the world every evening.
Mark Hyman: The power of community to create health is far greater than any physician, clinic or hospital.
I’m inviting all my readers to join me now in our Private Forums. It’s Free for everyone. Val has created the following forums for us to come together:
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Look forward to seeing you on the inside :)
Live well and find the happy,
Merryl @ GreenSmoothie.com
P.S. It’s important to be in a community that supports our own narrative for health and well being. It’s important, too, to create those safe spaces for others.
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