As a child, I spend many summer days with my extended family on the shores of the Bras D’Or Lakes in Cape Breton. There I observed and came to participate in a strange phenomenon.
When a boat went by on the lake, everyone on the shore waved to the passengers and the passengers waved back. The first few times it happened, I thought, “Wow! My cousins know a lot of people with boats.” It turned out they didn’t know these people. They just extended a friendly wave.
Since COVID hit, I stumbled upon a similar phenomenon.
One day, as I was sitting on my front porch I lifted my hand and waved to someone who was walking by. They waved back. I began to wave to anyone who walked by until one day someone I’d never seen before waved to me first. This began to happen frequently.
Why were people suddenly friendlier? Because the COVID-19 pandemic cast us into a crisis Community.
In a crisis, people have immediate empathy for one another: In a crisis Community, the words, “we are all in this together” become real.
During a crisis, the feeling of connection and camaraderie is strong. But we don’t need a crisis in order to experience this; we can build Community.
To build Community we need to develop Community consciousness; understanding exactly what Community is, how it grows, and how to facilitate that process.
My mission is to spread Community consciousness around the globe.
It was the reason I wrote a book about Community Building.
Developing Community consciousness is what I do in my workshops.
Community consciousness means we extend ourselves a little bit further.
For instance, instead of just nodding to a stranger we pass on the street, we smile and say, “Hi! How are you?”
Imagine how you would feel if several strangers greeted you this way as you went about your day. What an amazing day it would be. We have the power to create a beautiful world around us when we adopt a Community consciousness.
With this simple “wave”, we have the power to dispel the pain of disconnection caused by social distancing guidelines.
We must not allow any opportunity to extend Community kindness pass us by.