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Friday, November 2, 2012

What makes a real community?

It’s a place where people know, understand and respect their neighbours.

Where people pull together in a crisis and come together to celebrate achievement, and form strong and lasting friendships with people of all different backgrounds, faiths and ages.

We can be a stronger community as a result.

The human need to connect with others is as important to our well being as it ever was.

Yet we all lead busy lives, concentrated around our immediate families and friends.

We don’t always have time to get to know the people next door – let alone people living further afield.

And where people are living individual, isolated lives, problems can arise.

In the worst cases, people can become suspicious and hostile, especially towards individuals or groups they see as “different” or “not belonging”.

Encouraging interaction is one of the simplest, most straightforward ways in which we can overcome these barriers.

When people have the chance to get to know each other, they focus on what they have in common, rather than their differences.

This helps to break down prejudice and stereotypes, fostering instead mutual respect and understanding.