Connecting Neighbors and Neighborhoods of South DeKalb, CNNSD, a new community organization I’m part of, is a challenge for me. I’m a planner, but some people aren’t. I want to forge ahead, experiment, get things done, and some people want to discuss, visit, and see what happens. What I am learning is trust takes time in community and small gestures mean a lot. People need to be acknowledged and a random act of kindness makes an indelible mark.
The old-fashioned welcome basket for new neighbors was mentioned during the last CNNSD meeting as an idea to foster community. My mother taught me how to be hospitable and welcoming. It usually involved cooking or cleaning.
I remember the days – way before texting, but it doesn’t need to be complicated. A small basket of blackberries or a card could work. Cards make me smile. Thank me, celebrate my birthday, share a holiday moment, or an anniversary with me, I love it. Even the Elvis stamp on one of the envelopes is cherished. A person takes time to think of me and tell me. What a boost!
I digress: My dad could motivate people to work on a project beyond anything I’ve ever experienced since I left home. Charisma and leading by example were his stock in trade. People instantly liked him, his gift of gab, and his dimples. Guilt and religious zeal worked brilliantly for mom with my siblings and me.
Anyway, many good, wonderful people are in my life. I am grateful. I’m still learning how to be part of my community. I need their patience; I guess I should be more patient with them.