“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” – Kurt Vonnegut
North American society is very much about the individual. Independence, standing out and achievements are all valued. Overemphasis on these aspects can lead to feelings of loneliness, being lost, insecurity and fear.
You need not suffer with these feelings as there is a cure! Get re-connected to the people around you and let the healing begin. Community is so important, yet not often a focus of our time. There are so many non-profit community agencies that need you and your unique abilities. You can find purpose through service to others and put your heart into a cause that you believe in. Not only will you be making the world a better place, you will be meeting new people, developing friendships, learning new skills, and really connecting with others, not to mention with yourself.
Working within your community is protective of your physical and mental health, and has additional benefits:
- Combats depression
- Provides purpose and fulfillment
- Fosters passion, creativity and positivity
- Builds job, social and relationship skills
- Enhances confidence and life satisfaction
Here are some ideas for reconnecting to your community in meaningful ways:
- Donate your time to a charity you feel strongly about
- Serve at your local soup kitchen
- Help an elderly neighbour with yard work
- Have professional skills? Lend them for free to a non-profit agency
- Mentor our young people
- Visit a retirement home and spend time with our elders
- Volunteer in a community garden
- Tutor students
- Get involved in environmental conservation
- If you attend church, become more involved in activities
- Coach a team in a sport you love
- If the arts are more your thing, consider volunteering at a community theatre, library or museum
Set yourself up for success with honest answers to these simple questions:
- Could you use a little more passion, creativity and confidence in your life?
- What cause(s) makes you excited and engaged?
- What unique skills, talents and abilities can you lend to your community?