It’s a question we’re all asked many times over the course of our lives. But what if you’re asked on behalf of entire community?
As sitting president of the McCauley Community League, I’ve been asked on several occasions what the community thinks or feels about a particular topic. Sometimes it’s other Community Leagues, groups or agencies, sometimes it’s the City or the Province, and sometimes it’s the media for a story they are working on. And each time I feel uncomfortable answering for everyone or even anyone other than myself.
I have made a habit of prefacing any statement with this: I am a resident, a home-owner, a father, a husband. My perspective is my own through the filter of my own experiences and prejudices, for better or worse. I have the benefit of having grown up in a stable home with two parents and receiving an education. I have travelled and worked around the world and had the benefit of experiencing life, albeit for a short period of time, among other cultures. I believe that travel is the sworn enemy of ignorance. I like to believe I listen well but can always do better. I am an advocate of life-long learning. I have been offered the opportunity to sit on a number of boards and working groups and committees in the community, and like to feel this has exposed me to more than I would have been otherwise.
However, I am by no means an expert on what living in McCauley is like for everyone who calls it home. We all have our own filters through which we observe the world around us, and each is unique – I dare say even within an individual household you will encounter as many views as there are residents.
In 2018, when we formed a new board, we considered an approach to connect with the community in a simple way. We used a concept of celebration as a way to connect people. We believe that if we bring people from the community together they will form relationships organically and find those connections via the things we all share in common. One of the outcomes of this is that we develop those relationships and begin to have open and honest dialogue with the community. I like to believe that we’ve created the conditions for those things to occur in the past 10 months.
As we started a new year, we recently sat down to look at the events and programs we hosted and partnered in, and we’re pleased to look forward to a new year of the same. In the coming weeks we will share our calendar of events and programming, and hope that over the next year we will foster a stronger community and that you will help us to hear what you think. What do you think about living here, what makes you happy and hopeful, what concerns you and what gets you motivated? What can we do to help build a thriving diverse community? What is the face of McCauley we show the world? One that is compassionate and successful, full of capacity and amazing people. If you ever want to chat or share ideas for programming, items of concern or praise please reach out. I am always happy to sit down and grab a coffee and would love to hear what you think.
_Greg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org