To be accepted and belong to a group has been a human emotional need since the very beginning of human’s existence on earth. We as humans have an inherent desire to be a part of something and belong to a certain group whether it is friends, family, a community, religion, ethnicity, or something else. It is a strong emotional need and this need to belong is the need to receive and give attention to and from other members of the group.
When a group of people is brought together at a place to live together they form a community. The mutual decisions of this community impact each of its member’s lives for better or for worse. Although when most people are asked about their community, they seem to be ignorant and don’t really care but it is quite evident that everything that happens in a community where you live in has a direct impact on your lives too. The question that arises in mind is why and how should one get involved with their community.
Let us take a simple scenario to understand this. Imagine you were told to sit in a car blindfolded and you have no idea where the car will drive to and who will be driving the car. Would you be willing to risk your life and sit in that car? The answer is, of course, you will not take such a risk. Community engagement is somewhat similar and every decision that is taken for a community has a direct influence on your life.
There must be a group of people running a community counsel or something similar which does all the decision making. Will you leave it up to them to decide what is good for you and what is not? You can be a little cynical and believe that your comments and opinions won’t be considered in the decision making but in real these decision makers genuinely want your feedback and opinions in order to decide something which is good for everyone and is accepted with mutual consent of the people living in that community.
Regardless of what your qualifications may be, everyone knows what is good and beneficial for them and what is not. You can get engaged in these decision making processes by keeping track of the community meetings and visiting the community counsel on at least a monthly basis. Get to know the people who represent your community there and always take part in feedback polls.
Once you start attending the community meetings and getting engaged with the decision making process you have the responsibility of looking around in your surroundings and finding out what needs to be taken care of and what issue is causing hindrance in the everyday life of your neighborhood. Once you identify an issue, you can raise it in the meetings and get it addressed. You can also engage with other people to start some projects that may be beneficial for everyone. You can help to increase security in your neighborhood, help with providing some recreational activities of people living in your area like getting a park/activity center built for the people, and the list of things to do is endless.