Being an active member in your community is so important and rewarding (to the community and for yourself). Engaging with the people who live near you and have similar life paths allows for you to grow and for your community to grow alongside you. With community engagement, you will be able to connect with different types of people and you get to become more involved in the place you live your life in. Wether it is your work community, geological community, or community of people with similar life stories, you can alway challenge yourself to engage more.
On of the best ways to become more involved in your community is to volunteer your time and skills. The beauty of volunteering is that it is an act that is beneficial to the members of your community and that your volunteer intentions are not to just benefit yourself. A good perspective to volunteering its to begin your volunteer work with an expectation of time and care. This means that you give an estimated amount of time you plan of volunteering. This time estimation will allow yourself to volunteer with care because you do not have a productivity goal, rather your have a goal to complete your volunteer tasks with care. Slow down. Engage with other volunteers and community member to understand their life stories. This is a great way to make friends and to learn about your community.
2) Attend Community Events
If there are optional events in your community, go to them! This is a great way to meet new people in your community and to stay up to date with the people around you. These events are usually enjoyable and come with great conversations!
3) Start Your Own Event
If you can’t find an event that you are looking for, create your own dream event. The perks to starting you own event are endless, but having your own even t is also super rewarding. Invite people over to your house. Start a volunteer event. Create a fun event virtually. If you are having a hard time thinking of an event to create, reflect on your passionates and see how you can incorporate them into the creation of your own event!
4) Communicate Regularly
After initiating contact with different people in your community, stay active by continuing contact and communication. Creating a relationship with the people in your community is a great way to stay alert and active in your community. One way that you can do this is by finding a person or two in your community that are regularly active. Surround yourself with people you would like to be like in your community and you can learn how they became so involved and influential. Learn from community leaders and let them know that you are working to be active like them too!
5) Invite Others
Just as you see leaders of your community as role models, invite others into your community. This is a great way to keep yourself accountable in saying active in your community. This also give you a chance to become a leader yourself in your community. One way to help your community grow is by welcoming new people and by being an example to others. Learn and teach. Learn and teach. Learn and teach.
6) Give and Take
Finding a balance between giving and taking from you community is very important. If you find yourself laboring to create all of the events or host at you house, take a second to reflection on your balance in your community. You may need to let others help you. Community is about ALL of the people in the community’s contribution… not just yours. But, the other way around is that you find yourself only attending other people’s events. Find a way to contribute to your community to give back if you realize that you most take. Community is never about one person.
7) Reflect And Respond
Constantly check in with your community. Reflect on how your community is functioning. What can we do better? What is working? What is not working? How can we address the issues. After reflecting on your community, respond through action on how you can make your community a great place to be. There is always room for change and stagnant communities are never healthy. How can you become apart of a more fluid community?
Look up more ways that you can become more involved in your community. A place to start is by googling your community and seeing what is happening in that community. Are there events to be apart of? Are there people to connect with? If not, who can you contact to find out more about your community? Contact the people involved. Reseach the history of the community and how it cam eto be the community that it is today. No community just pops up out of no where. Every community has a unique story. One way to be active in your community is understanding the history of the community itself.
9) Make A Plan
Make goals for yourself and for your community. After you have made your goals, the most important part is making a plan to reach those goals (whether they are community-based or personal. Plans are the maps that lead you to your goals. Make sure that your plan involves other people. Communities take more than one person! Have a discussion about goals and create a plan together.
10) Develop A Passion
Having a passion for your community is a great motivator to become more engaged. What about this community makes you feel deeply? How can you become engaged in your own unique way? Why are you apart of this community? What are your goals for this community? It is a beautiful thing to be passionate about your community!
There are so many different ways to become involved in your community. How are you involved in community? What communities are you involved in? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image source: https://thefreshexchange.com/seasonal-gathering-fall-harvest/
Julia grew up in a town just outside of Chicago. She currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee where she is a junior Creative Writing and Literature major at Rhodes College. Julia prefers to spend her days outside writing stories for others to find joy in. Other than story-telling, you will find Julia running on her college track and field team and traveling the world.