What is this thing called com­mu­nity?

The Amherst News - - OP ED - Les­lie Childs is a mem­ber of the Amherst News Com­mu­nity Editorial Panel.

In case, you hadn’t guessed, I am a big fan of Amherst and Cum­ber­land. Not only is it amongst one of the old­est com­mu­ni­ties in Canada, but also it is a com­mu­nity that is in­creas­ingly work­ing to­gether for the bene t of its peo­ple. I couldn’t be hap­pier.

So, what is this thing called com­mu­nity any­way?”

True com­mu­nity hap­pens when peo­ple start talk­ing to peo­ple, peo­ple they know but more im­por­tantly talk­ing and learn­ing about peo­ple and things they don’t know. at leads to “think­ing out­side the box” and all sorts of new so­lu­tions to old prob­lems.

Var­i­ous dic­tio­nar­ies say that it comes from the Latin com­mu­ni­tatem mean­ing “so­ci­ety, fel­low­ship, friendly in­ter­course, and shared by all. e Old English word for “com­mu­nity” is gemaen­scipe and car­ries the same mean­ing of fel­low­ship, union, and com­mon own­er­ship. In­ter­est­ingly, both words prob­a­bly comes from the same an­cient Indo Euro­pean root as the Latin word.

As an in­struc­tor in both com­mu­ni­ca­tion and English, I know the words “com­mon”, “com­mu­nity”, and “com­mu­ni­ca­tion” well and I strongly be­lieve that when it comes to liv­ing well, there is no bet­ter way to ac­com­plish that than to nur­ture that elu­sive qual­ity called “com­mu­nity”.

How do we start these con­ver­sa­tions that will bring us to the com­mon ground and the com­mon goals we need to sup­port in or­der to move for­ward to even bet­ter things in the next few years?

e in­ter­net is cer­tainly not the only way, but re­cently, I’ve dis­cov­ered sev­eral places on­line that have helped me.

I’d like to share some of them with you.

If you haven’t al­ready, try Face­book. Here are some in­ter­est­ing pub­lic pages you might nd help­ful for keep­ing up to date. Just go to, or sign up for, Face­book and then in the search bar on the top left en­ter any one of these group names. Cel­e­brat­ing Cum­ber­land (NS) is ba­si­cally an elec­tronic Bul­letin Board pro­mot­ing all re­gions, towns, and vil­lages in the county. Here read­ers can see the ac­tiv­i­ties/as­sets avail­able to them. It’s a pub­lic site so any­one can show­case or read about what’s go­ing on close to home.

Town of Amherst, NS o ers photos, no­tices of lo­cal events, and so much more. Scroll through the posts and you’ll likely find some­thing in­ter­est­ing. Dayle’s Grand Mar­ket o ers a cat­a­logue of all sorts of hand­crafted items along with a look at the ex­cit­ing va­ri­ety of prod­ucts avail­able rang­ing from art work to cloth­ing and shoes, to chil­dren’s items, an­tiques/re­sus­ables, col­lectible coins and, of course, yummy things to eat.

Vin­tage Amherst al­lows you to scroll through a va­ri­ety of photos from the Amherst of yes­ter­year.

Amherst Her­itage Trust is new page that show­cases our built her­itage. Here you can read about other com­mu­ni­ties work­ing to pre­serve their older build­ings as well as keep track of what’s go­ing on lo­cally. Check out the be­gin­nings of their new fea­ture, a cat­a­logue of Amherst houses and busi­nesses, mostly be­fore 1917.

Re­cently, I’ve heard lots of neg­a­tive dis­cus­sion about how the in­ter­net and so­cial me­dia: how screens are ad­dic­tive; how it’s cre­at­ing a “ME” ori­ent­ed­world; how it’s de­stroy­ing con­ver­sa­tion.

But there’s also much to be gained from us­ing it ju­di­ciously and that in­cludes us­ing it to nd out what’s go­ing on in my com­mu­nity and who to con­tact to nd out more. Amherst is a great place to live, work, and play. Let’s use all our re­sources to be part of that.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.