Published on March 31st, 2021
Every newscast across the nation, we are constantly reminded of those who have chosen to revolt against the community they live in. Whether they are criminals who have an imbalance within their lives, or people who complain of being “stuck in their town”, the reality is the same, these individuals chose to be there. Too often we hear the tired excuse of “no money”, or “no opportunity”, that has cemented individuals to a place. This argument is tired and old. There are plenty of opportunities available for those who want them, the key is to make the opportunity work for themselves instead of waiting on the “life fairy” to drop in with a wad of cash and a CEO position to take charge of.
Hello friends, family members, fellow Alaskans, and my fellow Americans. I hope this podcast finds you doing better by the day. I hope that you’ve had the opportunity to get your vaccine, and you got it. Not because it’s what all “good little robots do”, but more about those around you who deserve the same chance you have, with your superior genetic code and all. It’s not about a sham, it’s really about saving lives. It’s about doing our part to support our community. This brings up today’s journey, being a part of a community. About deciding whether the community in which you live is really where you want to be. If not, start getting the plan together to move to another community, one that is more about your values. Today I want to spend a little time talking about being a part of a community.
So, what is a community? What exactly defines a community? Well, honestly that’s a big question to answer. A community can define a multitude of levels within, or combined with outside the local people, depending on the discussion. Whether we are talking about the Navajo community, which spans the country, or a town in southern Arizona, we can refer to them both as communities. So, we could have the Native-American community which is a small part of one town, or the Native-American community that spans the country, or the whole world. Just depends on your scope.
When I wore younger man’s clothes, I decided that my destiny lay outside my hometown at that time, so I joined the military. Within the military, I was able to experience hundreds of cultures throughout the world. I am reminded of a time when I was in the military and was serving in Kaneohe Bay, Hawai’i. It was my first time I had been away from my local small town (which is huge now I understand). Anyway, one of my fellow NCOs (non-commissioned officers), was from Honolulu, which was about thirty minutes away. He came from a huge Pacific Islander family who lived on the western side of Honolulu, so he invited me along for a large social gathering with his family and friends. Upon arrival, I noted that there were (what seemed like) hundreds of people. He spoke to many by name and introduced me as he made our way to meet his mom and dad. I can’t remember a time before, or after then, that I was hugged by so many people. They were an absolutely fantastic group of people! We spent a whole day laughing and eating, it was so awesome to be among these people. Mind you, before we stepped out of his car, no one there knew me. Yet, I was quickly accepted and felt genuine joy from everyone there.
So, in the bigger picture of things, I was hanging out with a huge part of the Pacific Islander community, of the Honolulu community, of the Hawaiian community. So, this is the idea of community, it’s as big as you want to make it. When I was very young, I grew up in south-central Louisiana. North of New Orleans in a town named Pierre Part. My younger brother and I attended school there, where we (my brother and I) were the only caucasian’s in the school. There were some awesome times playing on the many bayous around the area. We spent many nights hanging out with the Cajuns there listening to wonderful music, and eating shrimp and gator until we rolled home. Good times. That’s what community means to me. It means that all the members are pulling in the same direction, they all have similar wants and needs. However, I get the feeling this is where modern society has fallen off the tracks.
In many locations throughout the country there are roads leading out, and if you don’t have gas money, airfare, or a bus ticket, then get yourself a good set of walking shoes, and use them. The idea that one would get angry enough about the community, or a group within a community, to kill or injure others, defies the idea of what community is about.
This leads us to the next point in this discussion, helping to support the community that we choose to be a part of. When talking about being part of the community, we need to highlight the idea of being a contributing member of one’s community. Talk about being apart, that means that we are contributing in a multitude of ways.
- Spending money at local establishments providing neighbors with a source of income and additional stabilization.
- Volunteering at some function within your community, providing some value to the immediate area.
- Being prepared so as to relieve local first responders allowing them to respond to others in the immediate area.
The key to this discussion is the underlying idea of being of value to the community. While there may be some disagreements amongst the neighbors, another critical element is the concept behind the compromise. Being able to accept others’ opinions as theirs. So there is a balance. A balance achieved by what we (as individuals) want versus what’s better for the community as a whole. In much the same way we operate within a family, so too do we operate within our community.
For each of us who have chosen to be prepared has chosen to assist our community by relieving the local medical, police, and fire responders. This is a huge benefit to our community, and this is how we each contribute to our community. Just as important is our attitude for our interactions with the community.
While we may disagree with decisions and laws enforced from time to time, we don’t resort to violence, and certainly ensure that we maintain our neighbor’s freedoms, as we don’t tolerate our rights being trampled.