What is a community? I looked it up. It can be geographical or cultural. A group with a common interest, place or background. The Latin root is the word communis meaning common. A community is a group or place where people have something in common.
After the Pulse massacre in June, 2016 Orlando showed that it is a true community. A place where we believe that coming together to show the truth about our world is important. The truth being that love overcomes hate. On the one year anniversary of the Pulse shootings, the City of Orlando declared June 12 to be a day of love and kindness. I understand why they did this and it is a lovely thought. But my thought was; shouldn't every day be a day of love and kindness? After all, who is against love and kindness? And yet, bad things keep happening both in Orlando and all over the world. Why?
Granted, I am not the smartest person in the world but I have a theory. I think people often focus outward looking at things like politics, world affairs, bad things we see on the nightly news. These are things that the average person cannot control but are still bothered by. Clearly there are bad people in the world. We feel strong negative emotions and we have nowhere to put them. These negative emotions include anger and hatred. Anger and hatred are the opposite of love and kindness.
So what is the alternative? Should we not watch the news or read the paper? I don't think that is the solution. I believe the solution is to focus our concern as close to home as possible. It can be your family, your faith home, your neighborhood - your community however you choose to define it. To focus on the ones you love and care for each day. Kiss your mother good bye in the morning. Praise your children for time well spent. Smile at your neighbors. Be nice to the checkout girl at your local grocery store. All of these things occur in what I call "my bubble." If you think about it you have a bubble too. In our bubble we actually do have control - of ourselves and how we behave.
There is a caregiving community too. It is made up of the caregiver and the person they care for and their extended family. Also included are those the caregiver comes in contact with; care workers, social workers, nurses. Support groups are a great source of community allowing families to meet other caregivers and realize they are not alone in their journey. Think of all of these, and the ones unique to you, as your personal caregiving bubble. Remember that in this bubble you have, at least some, control. You can reach out to someone or allow them to reach out to you. You can attend the caregiver forum on September 7 - 9 and extend your bubble even further. Hint, Hint.
In the end, what if everyone chose to concentrate on making their community a better place through their own behavior? I think the evening news would be a lot more pleasant to watch. Maybe everyday would be a day of love and kindness.