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7 Week Study Program for
"The Bond"

By Lynne McTaggart

Reaching out to the Wider Community

The fastest way to bring disparate people together is through a superordinate goal –a goal only achieved by large cooperative teamwork of two or more people. Engaging in sharing and teamwork tends to transcend differences, because it emphasizes the very heart of humanity—we are all in this together. And if we are all in this together we are no longer competing for scarce resources.

When we work with others for a common purpose, we very quickly and literally get on their wavelength. All of this suggests that coming together in small groups with a superordinate goal provides a social cohesion beyond money, job or size of property.

There are many names for activities like barn-raising; the Native American Cherokees call it gadugi, the Finnish talkoot, and some Americans call it bees. The idea is to pitch in together for a common cause —whether making a quilt, husking corn, or raising a barn — that is difficult or tedious when carried out on your own, or helping out a neighbor in need. In Norway, people engage in dugnad to garden in common greens, or to help build houses, and some organizations arrange an annual dugnad. Other communities work together to create something of value for the entire community.

In the UK, the Coin Street Community Builders, a group of local activists, joined together to successfully oppose large-scale development plans for expensive high-rise housing in a white working-class district of the South Bank along the riverfront of the Thames in London.

After creating a center for burgeoning businesses, the community group built state-of-the art public housing and a children’s center by donating some of the profits from the businesses they’d helped to create, including a luxury Harvey Nichols restaurant on the top floor of the Oxo Tower. In this way, the Coin Street group made use of community private capital as a virtuous circle: to fund public services to the less fortunate without the need for a government handout.

13 ways to revitalize your community
• Buy locally
• Take out books from the local library
• Use your local parks
• Plant in community spots
• Form a ‘landscape brigade’: garden or landscape together as a neighborhood
• Organize block parties and pot luck dinners regularly
• Hire local young people
• Cook or bake extra and share around the neighborhood
• Support and help your local schools and consider giving of your time to teach skills to the students
• Look up when you walk and take the time to say hello to everyone
• Walk dogs or job together
• Start a local partnership for your health care, utilities, or any other service – owned by and run by the community.
• Consider making your neighborhood your savings bank. Each contribute a set amount every month with set interest and take turns taking the whole pot every month.