Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Community Building Tip: Neighborliness

For my current set of tips, I've decided to use the one I wrote based on how to make your hometown more like Bluehill in Terramagne-America. I took a close look at the town's positive features with an eye toward replicating them here with local resources.

* Neighborliness. People skills, social skills, compassion, citizenship, civic pride. There are classes, books, flyers, etc. for teaching new skills and plenty of opportunities to exercise current ones. People make an effort to know each other and what other folks' interests are. (A key reason this is possible is that T-American countries do not routinely rip workers away from their roots. People can move if they want to, but are much less often forced to.) An active community is a safe community: people are out and about, minimizing opportunities for unseen mischief. Meet people, be friendly, be helpful, teach social skills.

Intentional neighboring is the process of giving what you can and receiving what you need among your community. It is one of the most fundamental skills of civilization. America's current habit of pathologizing need is ruinous to a healthy society. We can do better. It's not hard, that bar is lying in a ditch. With stagnant water at the bottom. Let's just throw cattails on it and walk away. So, you need to know how to help a friend and ask for help.

How good are your people skills? How good are your social skills? You can improve your social skills and have great people skills. Know how to teach them too.

Practice techniques of compassion for self and others. Go through the levels of meditating on compassion.

Citizenship isn't just about where you were born, but which polity you support. Here are some thoughts on American citizenship. A sense of civic pride leads to stronger communities. Increase your civic engagement and encourage governments to support citizen engagement.

Here are some books on learning new skills in a month. Knowing things makes it easier to accomplish what you want, and gives you something to talk about with other people.

How much interaction does your community have? Think of some ways you can meet new people. Find out their interests.

Permanence has great value in building both family and community. People need permanence, and the lack of it has ruinous effects. It takes a lot of skill to establish and maintain long-term relationships. Among the most crucial skills is working through colossal fuckups rather than ending the relationship. The smaller families get, and the more often people move, the harder it becomes for anyone to learn these skills and enjoy these relationships. Even if YOU know how and want to, other people are often clueless and disappear after a few years anyhow. It's all the worse if the relatives you have are horrible to you so you have to jettison them in self-defense; finding a replacement family is possible but often difficult. People break up, and move, and then wonder why America has a raging epidemic of loneliness. So reach out and make what connections you can. Especially, if you have tenable relatives or found family, call them or go visit. Online relationships count to the extent you can rely on them for help should your life suddenly blow up in your face.

Social activity creates safety. A lively community offers less chance for mischief -- and less motivation, too. How safe is your community, and how active? Think about ways to invite more interaction.

I include a recommendation for the science fiction novel The Fresco by Sheri S. Tepper, which is all about tassidofuma, or neighborliness. It includes some very good ideas and some appalling violations of privacy and consent, and makes a great starting point for discussion.
Tags: a little slice of terramagne, how to, recurring posts
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