Carrie Randolph is an outstanding woman-a true philanthropist. You can read about her here.
She wrote about “What Makes a Vibrant Community” in May, 2011. In that article she describes “vibrant communities as places where:
- Arts and cultural expression are encouraged and celebrated
- Living & dying with dignity are community values
- Lifelong learning is encouraged and available
- Safety is both a community and a personal responsibility
- Civic engagement is considered a duty
- Sustainable economic growth is cultivated
- Protection of our environment and historical places is a shared value that benefits human health and our local economies
ARTS and CULTURAL EXPRESSION
The seven (7) attributes above could easily be applied to our community. When we got together for our 1st International Festival last September, we were celebrating our culture and diversity. We came together in a spirit of community and sharing. We brought food and great enthusiasm to share. We enjoyed music and entertainment and came home that night feeling wonderful.
LIVING and DYING in DIGNITY
When someone in our community is ill and in need, we stand by to help however we can. When someone leaves us for a care home, or forever, we grieve and send out our thoughts and prayers.
When something goes wrong that threatens our safety, we are concerned.
…But to make our community vibrant requires more from each of us.
RECOGNITION of COMMUNITY SERVICE
First and foremost, it is my opinion that it is important to recognize that those volunteering to serve our community freely are giving of themselves for the benefit of the community. When we do, it changes interpersonal dynamics. We become more understanding of the challenges they face and the enormous responsibilities they carry. With that mindset, we become more generous, offering to help them instead of always keeping an eye on what goes wrong.
We could choose not to do anything and let others carry on with what needs to be done in our community. But when we do, we abandon our right to experience community life. As Winston Churchill writes (above), “We make a life by what we give“! It is why “being involve” contributes to a vibrant community.
Imagine being able to share thoughts, ideas, and opinion. Imagine helping others solve problems. We could have community programs like “yoga sessions”; morning “tai chi” exercises; community walks; seminars on “gardening”, internet surfing, fitness, landscaping; ballroom and line dancing; singing. Lifelong learning helps our minds and bodies stay strong and healthy. Imagine actively using our clubhouse facilities in a myriad of ways.
SUSTAINABLE GROWTH & PROTECTION of our ENVIRONMENT
Huntly Wynd is an incredible and unique place in the City of Richmond. The demand to maintain and enhance our infrastructures equates with the value of our homes and our community. When we care for our community the same way we care for our respective homes, we begin to have an open mind about the economic realities of the importance of assuring “sustainable growth”. We begin to see the significance of managing financial resources with the future in mind. We see our “monthly maintenance contributions” or “special levies” as our pledge to continue to build values to our homes.
SOWING SEEDS of DISCONTENT…
…negatively impacts community life. It hurts and fragments relationship. Please keep in mind that when we put our strata council or corporation in a legal bind for whatever reason, let us not forget that it is us, owners, that are ultimately liable. Cost of legal proceedings or awards against the corporation ultimately depletes our resources.
Instead, let us strengthen and promote altruism and friendship. Our community deserves it. We deserve it. Perhaps one day, philanthropists in our community may consider a living legacy in their name for the benefit of the community they call home – Huntly Wynd.