How to Develop Good Community Relationships

Robert Russell By Robert Russell, 20th Feb 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Activism

Human beings are social animals; our humanity is intimately linked to fact that we share a world with one another. According to Aristotle, language, social institutions and culture are what makes use human. However, human beings often don't live together well. The majority of pain and suffering that people experience is caused by other people. Respect and tolerance for others, especially for those who are different from us, is an essential element in living well.

Community Building Tips

As mentioned above, the idea of community is essential to human flourishing. The American philosopher John Dewey and the American sociologist Robert Bellah both worried that the context of the modern world was making the idea of genuine community more and more problematic. Community depends upon engaging and interacting with others on a individual and face-to-face level.

(1) Organize a street party in the community.
A street or block party provides the opportunity for neighbors to meet and become acquainted with one another. Meeting and greeting people in the neighborhood takes away the anonymity factor that may engender attitudes of disrespect and intolerance.

(2) Celebrate the cultural diversity of your community with a festival.
Many communities are made up of culturally diverse populations who come from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. A cultural festival provides the opportunity for members of a community to become acquainted with different cultures and traditions. Festivals can include arts and crafts, music performances, storytelling events, and children's games and activities.

(3) Acknowledge one another through words and small gestures.
Saying hello and thank-you is a simple but effective way to show respect to people in the community. Showing kindness in your words and actions lets the other person know that you don't take them for granted.

(4) Respect your neighbors' privacy and space.
Respecting space and privacy operates at a number of levels. Avoid asking questions about things that don't concern you. Don't give your neighbor the third degree about something just because you are curious. Respecting your neighbor's space involves such things as not blasting your stereo or hosting a loud party late in the evening.

(5) Organize a meeting to discuss ways of improving relations in the community.
A community event can be held at a church, a town hall or a private home. If your community is plagued by particular problems, such as youth violence, prejudice and intolerance, the community meeting can be used to address these issues. Invite a speaker with expertise who can offer advice and suggestions for dealing with the issues.


Community Building, Living With Others, Neighbors, Social Philosophy

Meet the author

author avatar Robert Russell
I play guitar professionally in a Cajun/zydeco band named Creole Stomp. We are a nationally touring band that have been together ten years. I also have a PhD in philosophy.

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