What is the purpose of a community league? This is a question the Boyle Street Community League has been grappling with of late.
In the neighbourhood of Boyle Street, there are so many things we could focus on: the plethora of new developments and infrastructure projects, and the need to ensure they are done in a manner that respects the needs and desires of our neighbours; our facility and the ongoing work with the City of Edmonton to ensure we continue to have a permanent place in the neighbourhood; and the creation of programs that add to the life of the neighbourhood.
What, though, is the ultimate purpose of these activities?
Our conclusion as a board: fun. Perhaps I ought to provide more context for that conclusion.
Our society foists upon us the grand myth that our ultimate goal is to be independent. We are to become completely self-sufficient, and that is the benchmark of success. We live our lives attempting to be self-sufficient and, in the process, isolate and cut ourselves off from community.
I believe this is one of the reasons we see so much depression and anxiety – the reason why so many people feel isolated and lonely. These feelings are shared regardless of socio-economic background.
The truth is that we are truly healthy insofar as we have interdependence – a community we rely on and which relies on us. Family, friends, and neighbours who know you and care for you.
What would Boyle Street look like if we truly had a community like this? One where you were known and cared for? One where you were truly needed to care for others?
Imagine what it would be like to live there.
That excites me – and it is a vision worth working toward. But we have to start somewhere . . . so we are starting with fun!
Our goal is to focus on creating experiences and moments where neighbours can get together to enjoy each others company, create relationships, and get to know each other.
Look for our upcoming Chalk Your Block neighbourhood competition coming in August and a big neighbourhood block party in September as the League’s first foray into having fun together in our community.
If you want to be part of making the fun happen – or you have a gift you want to share with your neighbours (like music, martial arts, fitness, art, etc.) – get in touch with us by going to www.boylestreet.community.
Jordan is the President of the Boyle Street Community League.