When you are building a house, the most important part is the foundation.
When creating a meal, the most important part is the food that will provide energy for fuel.
Without a strong foundation, or fuel providing foods, you wouldn’t be any farther ahead.
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It’s no different when you build a community. When you are growing a strong community, the most important part is the structure and example you provide at home.
Sometimes we get so caught up in keeping up with the Joneses that we forget what happens under our own roof is just as, if not more, important to our own growth and development and to that of our families.
How can we expect our children to behave if we’ve never taught them proper behaviour? How can we hope to have a strong relationship with our spouses if we grew up in an environment where we were surrounded by constant arguing and fighting?
No one’s home life is perfect. However, working on your relationships at home will improve your relationships at work and in the community. Many of the stresses and strains we face in our jobs are directly related to unsettled things going on at home. By attending to one, we are making both better.
One of the most important areas we can commit to is spending real time together. This can be with your partner, your children, your parents or siblings, a neighbour or friend. It’s sharing how you feel, what motivates you, what disturbs you with someone else. It’s being the person that they can share their own stories, and experiences with, too. Make time to talk each day and really listen.
How you do this varies from person to person — you might do this by eating dinner together uninterrupted, or by carpooling home together from your day at work/school.
Another great way to get the discussion going is by sharing a walk together. It’s incredible how easy it is to share what’s going on with one another when you are taking a stroll. Use this time to not only get out and get some exercise, but to get into your community and share your thoughts, feelings and dreams with someone else.
By taking care of your own personal well-being, and the well-being of those close to you, will help start building a strong foundation in the community.
Christina Carew is a member of FUSION Halifax. Visit FUSIONHalifax.ca to find out how you can get involved to help make Halifax a better place to live, work and play.