Coming Together...What Does It Take?
I live in a quiet, well-maintained community on a lake. I do not take for granted the beauty of what I wake up to everyday. Those who live here, while not close, are always willing to help out in times of need, be this saving a boat broken loose from its mooring or providing someone who does not have a generator a hot meal and shower during a storm.
In the last few years, some of the area homes have been listed as rental properties through vacation home sites. While this is a wonderful area for vacationers, not everyone coming to our community has valued our area in the same way we do. This has given rise to various concerns and issues, yet some good has come out of a challenging situation.
A group of us came together to form a task force to develop a list of guidelines for renting in the area. Creating this list caused us to review our bylaws—rules and regulations that had not been updated since 1987! As neighbors doing this work together, we’re enjoying a wonderful byproduct: we’re getting to know one another in new ways. We have laughed together, worked together and even gathered for a social evening.
In no way am I comparing our relatively minor situation with natural disasters, personal tragedies, business crises or other challenges that can bring people together. Yet whenever a situation, big or small, crisis or not, creates discord or discomfort or real need, there is an opportunity for change. When something cannot be maintained as-is, a plan and action are required. This need ultimately brings people together, as few things in life are truly solvable outside of a community of support.
In the case of natural disasters, people go above and beyond, heroes and heroines emerge, and the unimaginable can be accomplished when people work together. In the wake of Hurricane Florence, countless stories of community are emerging from the Carolinas. Strangers helping strangers, neighbors helping neighbors, communities working together toward common goals.
Why is it that it takes a problem, disaster, or crisis to bring people together for a positive outcome? What would it be like if we all slowed down and tried to learn who our neighbors, coworkers or teammates are and what we can build together? Why wait for a problem that needs to be solved before making connections? Opportunities for developing and strengthening our communities, wherever we may find them and whatever they may be, are literally just an open mind, open heart, and extended hand away.
Photo: Sunset on Jordan Bay ©2018 DL Dunton Photography