|Posted on October 1, 2013 at 10:30 PM|
The world is changing.
Environmentally, we are seeing increases in the frequency and magnitude of storms. Earthquakes are prevalent and devastating worldwide. The ice caps are melting, ocean levels are rising, and more arable land each year either disappears or becomes barren.
Sociologically and culturally, we are seeing an increase in extremes and a shrinking of the middle. Wealth is concentrating in the hands of the very few, and poverty is increasing among the masses. We are experiencing a social divide in opportunity, which further stratifies the division between the haves and have-nots.
Technologically, we have automated ourselves to the point where very few know how to manufacture or produce the vast majority of what we consume. It is significant that we have a new generation of computer technology every three months, while most of us would be stymied should we be required to manufacture a paper clip from raw materials. We don't understand our own technology.
We have also become a species who has lost its inclination for self-determination. We allow ourselves to be told how to act, what to do, what to want, and even who or what to love. The mainstream religious practices are fundamentally exclusive, rather than inclusive - that is, they posit an idea that if you do not believe as they do, your soul will be denied reward of any kind, because theirs is the only way.
In essence we are a tribal species who have just enough out-of-control technology and little enough wisdom so that we are capable of doing some real damage.
And we are.
So, in the midst of devastating change, what can we do? Well, if the world trend is to isolate and become more dependent on a tenuous infrastructure, and that's not working, perhaps we should embrace an alternative point-of-view. Maybe the answer is to become more connected, more self-reliant, and unswervingly responsible for ourselves. Maybe we should start at the most fundamental level - ourselves - and then move to include our neighbors and our community.
Those of us who work in the community association industry have incredible opportunities to make a difference in the lives of countless individuals if we are willing to step out of the small-picture, legalistic perspective of community association governance and cultivate a broader view of the possibilities that come with community association living.
Helping people understand the power of community and appreciate the sense of belonging the comes with community association living is an incredible privilege...or it is beyond the scope of your imagination or beyond the scope of your "job". The choice ultimately is always yours.
Community associations represent a microcosm of the world as a whole. What better environment to work within in order to instigate the kinds of change that help people learn how to connect and work together in the pursuit of common goals and objectives. It is just that kind energy that is needed in the world we live in today. Never underestimate the power of community or your ability to influence it.
Communication, transparency, engagement, involvement, respect, trust and kindness are the key pathways to creating community unity in your community association or the world-at-large. Travel that path and you help create a better you, but in the process you also help cultivate better neighbors, better communities and ultimately a better world. Good luck!
Michael Pierson is CEO/President of Community Association Publishing Services (CAPS), a community association business partner that specializes in newsletters, websites and social media. He is the author of “Taking Control: Time Management and Communication Tools for Community Association Management" and "Creating Community: The Art of Empowerment in Community Association Living."
Categories: Creating Community