Join the live local movement
We’ve all heard about the significance of supporting local businesses, especially over the past year. When so many shops and restaurants had to temporarily close their doors, people everywhere needed to help those businesses in creative ways to get them through dire straights. Although the crisis is mostly over now, it certainly doesn’t mean it’s time to forget about our local communities. We all benefit from continuing the movement to “live local” which in reality, goes so much further than just supporting small businesses.
What is “living local”, and why does it matter?
Basically, it’s about reemphasizing the value of our local communities in a world that seems to be drawing our attention away from them. While it’s true that there are many benefits to the shared culture and online networks that connect people throughout the globe, it sometimes feels like we’re forgetting the people that are physically around us in favor of “connecting” with people who already share our same perspectives.
“Living local” is an all-encompassing mindset which celebrates a sense of place despite differences in age, politics, and everything else. It emphasizes the bonds between people who share a common goal of improving their geographic community; and while undoubtedly people living within our community are likely to be similar to us, they are still more likely to be different to us than our friends. We need to make conscious efforts to revitalize our towns and rebuild these relationships between neighbors because true change comes from the ground up and nobody knows what a community needs as much as the people who actually live in it.
So how can you do it?
Join community organizations - Becoming part of an official group is a perfect way to meet others around you. From a sports team, to a religious organization, to an arts club, there are infinite ways you can develop the passions you already have or try something new.
Attend local events - You don’t even need to commit to a group to get out there and strengthen your connections with other community members. Events like neighborhood block parties can unite people right nearby each other, while something like a performance in the park draws people from all over. Because there is such a wide range of creative options available, you can always come up with something that fits the particular circumstances you need.
Get involved in local politics - Although they’re often overlooked, local politics directly affect our lives more than you probably even realize. Since they’re also the best route for you to make an immediate impact, it’s easy for you to let your voice be heard. You don’t need to run for office to have an influence – simply showing up to a town meeting and offering your thoughts on something like a new proposed building project can make a difference.
Support on social media - There’s no question that people live on social media, so instead of letting it overshadow local communities, we might as well take advantage of it. With all of the community events and organizations we’ve just discussed, you can use your social accounts to spread awareness about them. You’d probably be surprised how much people would be willing to do all of these things if only they just knew about them.
Volunteer with local nonprofits - Volunteering offers everything you could want in an opportunity to get involved in your community – you connect with other passionate volunteers, you directly improve the place where you live, and you help the people around you who need it most. Whether you want to donate your time to a food bank, animal shelter, or any particular organization that you know is doing great work in your community, you’ll always be able to find something that matters to you and makes a difference.
We know these suggestions are not necessarily groundbreaking. You’ve likely thought of them all before and maybe even committed to doing a few already. Our point is that we have to actually go out and DO them. In a world where we’re always short on time, we need to make time for this if we want to combat the sense of divisiveness and apathy present in many of our communities.