Monday, 3 October 2011

COMMUNITIES and COMMUNITY BUILDERS


The dictionary definition of 'Community' is rather flat and lifeless: "An interacting population of various kinds of individuals in a common location." To me that hardly captures or evokes an emotional response and certainly doesn't speak to the issue of caring or quality of life.

One factor which is not mentioned or alluded to in the definition is the effect of Community Builders. Without Community Builders I would contend that there can be no real sense of Community Identity and without that there can be no real Community.

We have been blessed in this area with many, many Community Builders. These are people who quite simply freely give their own time and energy , and in some cases, resources, for the betterment of others and thereby improve our overall quality of life. Most of these people do so as a regular part of their lives, in most cases probably without really considering the beneficial effect they are having on others because that is just who they are and what they do. Seldom receiving attention, but always caring, these people are the backbone of  a Community. They are the volunteers at the Spirit of the Sea, the Tour de White Rock, the hockey and soccer coaches, the Cancer fundraisers, the Foodbank volunteers, the Hospital Auxiliary members, the Service Clubs, and the Community Police volunteers to name but a few.

Occasionally we are even more blessed to have people who go way beyond what could be reasonably expected - they literally hit it out of the park with their contributions. This Community has had more than its fair share of such people, and to a degree that also sets us apart from the norm and has to be one of the reasons we live in such a wonderful  Community.

Tragically, we lost one of the great ones last week, Linda Klitch . Linda was a true Community person. As the Publisher of the Peace Arch News she gracefully walked a very fine line ensuring that her paper maintained its neutrality no matter what her personal beliefs were, yet at the same time she threw her considerable personal talents and energy into many community causes for the betterment of others. Linda Klitch was The Real Deal, and will be greatly missed. 

At her service, it was noted that she kept a quote from the Dalai Lama in her purse because the words helped guide her actions and beliefs. These words are worth repeating here because they speak to an ideal we could all aspire to.

"Everyday,think as you wake up,
today I am fortunate to be alive,
I have a precious human life,
I am not going to waste it.
I am going to use all my energies to develop myself,
to expand my heart out to others,
to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings.
I am going to have kind thoughts towards others,
I am not going to get angry or think badly about others
I am going to benefit others as much as I can."

Truly lofty ideals to live up to, but worthy goals to aspire to , because...

"White Rock Matters"



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