Community Building: How to Help

Our communities are the places we work, live, and raise our families and it is our responsibility to help maintain them. Universities or non-government organizations help progress the social welfare of local, regional, and national communities using community development, community work, and community planning. Community organizing tries to find ways to empower people and groups by teaching them with the abilities they need to achieve change in their own communities.

Many people argue that the sense of community that exists during times of crisis can be willfully built. Community building is the process of the knowing and applying certain social rules that goes through four different stages. The pseudo-community stage of community building is where individuals are nice to each other and show their most favorable sides to their personalities. The chaos stage is when individuals feel comfortable to show their true selves instead of only showing their best qualities. The emptiness stage of community development is when all individuals acknowledge their own brokenness, which is common among all individuals. The final stage in community building is a true community where respect for the needs of others in the community develops.

Community building is directed toward citizens to take action to make decisions that positively affect the community as a whole. The process of community is more than just determining specific issues and resolving them. It is the act of building an accessible power structure with the end goal being equal power among those involved. Community organizers often seek to construct groups that encourage conscious decision-making and focus on the universal health of the community instead of a specific interest group.

Despite the underlining politics that most community building organizations have, the community is their top priority. Their success is dependent on the ability to find and recruit individuals or small groups to help build a strong community. Most individuals offer their help by cleaning up trash in the streets, volunteering at the local homeless shelter, or participate in programs to tutor less fortunate children. Regardless of your role in the community, every little bit helps.

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