Wellness: Resilience comes from… caring about each other enough to say hi.

The Centre for Addictions Research at the University of Victoria posted this article this summer, which jives perfectly with what we are all about here at The Wellness Almanac.

It also jives with what Pemberton resident Mo Douglas has created with the Hello Pledge, and what Pemberton BMX founder Jessica Turner has said is at the heart of community:

A strong sense of community comes from knowing that there is a role to play and you are of value to your community.  It’s about doing and participating, instead of sitting back and complaining or expecting someone else to get things done. I think you can find your way of contributing in unexpected ways. It’s not always about being involved in community groups. Supporting your neighbours and friends has a huge impact.

We believe that these acts of kindness and connectedness are at the heart of a resilient community, and ultimately, resilience and compassion are the best defence in the face of change, trouble and trauma.

Thanks to Winds of Change Steering Committee Chair, Sheldon Tetreault, for this interesting read.

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Small steps toward connectedness can build community

Posted July 25, 2012 by Nicole Bodner

Participating in the community doesn’t have to mean doing something grand or time-consuming such as joining local politics or spearheading a large event. Small steps aimed at contributing to a positive environment can also help a community move in a healthier direction. Simple neighbourly acts in apartment buildings and city blocks, for example, can help build trust and connectedness among residents. This experience of connectedness creates stronger bonds among people and, ultimately, safer neighbourhoods.

A recent report on community connections and engagement in Metro Vancouver sums this up nicely:

“We know from many studies that the safest and most resilient neighbourhoods are where people know each other’s names and where residents see each other and get together. These are the neighbourhoods where people are the most trusting and able to work together to tackle issues of concern.”[*]

Greeting, helping and spending time with a neighbour are not only good for community development. They are good for life. These acts of neighbourliness motivate people to care more about those who share their space. And they make that space matter more too. Several scholars have pointed out that together we create places and that the places we live in create us.

Some people have already learned the benefits of neighbourliness. A recent article in the Vancouver Sun on fostering a sense of community featured people in an apartment complex who organized a group yard sale, and then posted sign-up sheets for running and other activities tenants might share an interest in. The article suggested residents have noticed a difference in the degree of connectedness in the building since the first attempts to increase neighbourliness began.

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