Mindful Love, Saturday and Sunday Loving Community
In the present circumstances, no one can afford to assume that someone else will solve their problems. Every individual has a responsibility to help guide our global family in the right direction. Good wishes are not sufficient; we must become actively engaged. H.H. Dali Lama
“As well as our close relationships, we all have wider connections with people across the different circles of our lives – at work, in our communities or through our social activities. Although these relationships are less deep, these are also important for happiness and wellbeing.
Having diverse social connections predicts how long we live and even impacts how resistant we are to catching colds! Our broader social networks provide a sense of belonging and influence how safe and secure we feel. Building connections in our local community contributes to our own happiness and that of those around us, enabling our communities to flourish.
Remarkable new research shows that happiness is contagious across social networks. Our happiness depends not only on the happiness of those in our direct social network, but on the happiness of the people they know too. In other words, happiness ripples out through groups of people, like a pebble thrown into a pond.
We can help to build happier communities by doing what we can to boost our own happiness and also being conscious of the impact our behavior on others. Even seemingly, small, incidental interactions, such as a friendly smile or act of kindness can make a difference – to ourselves, the people we interact with and the people they affect too.”1
My mother was a non-religious, PhD, liberal. Her children, long spread all over the world, she craved companionship and her friend, blind Billy, wasn’t cutting mustard anymore. Then, she discovered The Breakfast Club, an eclectic group of lawyers, waitresses, plumbers, housekeepers, writers, religious, non-religious liberal and conservative locals who met daily at the local coffee shop, Russ’s Breakfast and Lunch. They talked about local issues, tried to save the world, and kept each other company in the Falls and Winters of their lives. For at least fifteen years, she walked the half-mile pilgrimage to Russ’s.
As her Alzheimers’ progressed, neighbors stepped in, made sure she was eating, taking her medications and getting to the Dr. as needed. Then, she had to move. The attorney stepped in, helped her sell the house, and took almost no commission. The Breakfast Club made her a memento book with stories and photos and sent it to her new home in Denver.
The Breakfast Club members had one thing in common. They wanted community to navigate the seasons of their lives.
Saturday and Sunday’s exercise
Sit quietly for five minutes; ignore the cacophony of your mind. Imagine you are a flower, your petals about to bloom wide open and receive the sun. You provide pollen for the bees, compost for the garden and smiles for your audience.
What do you want to attract from and give to the community around you? Identify one thing you can do to improve your relationships in your neighborhood.