Does it Build Community?

Community creation…

the challenge of relationship breakdown

What index marks a truly successful country – an increasing share price? But what about a quality of relationships index? Every individual is formed and shaped through relationships with others.

Community is built over time through relationships of trust. Nothing is quite like me-first consumerism for undoing community. We all are on a community journey – from apathy about others, to ‘let’s fix the problem’ sympathy, to empathy, that (rare) ability to try to walk in another’s shoes.

creating community starts with the family…

our family is our first community, the cornerstone community of any society.

It is not rocket science to see that when families break apart, society break-up follows. Dealing with the pressures on families needs to be a policy priority, whilst at the same time supporting early enough those damaged through family distress. The cost otherwise is incalculable, both in human and economic terms. Such hidden social costs need to be factored into all economic policy.

creating community reaches out to the other…

in our multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural national family. Australia has a unique chance to show how people of different backgrounds can live and work together for the common good. Respect for the other, and genuine dialogue, replace scapegoating minority groups – a tragic pattern throughout history. The role of schools, and religious, social, sport and voluntary work in community creation is vital.

Again the foundational community relationship for all Australians is with the Aboriginal people.

creating community embraces our vulnerable…

the integrity of  any society is shown by the way it values its vulnerable: the young, elderly, sick, depressed, homeless, unemployed, dispossessed, those caught in addictions.

creating community embraces our global village…

we live also in a global family. As Australians most of us are in a very privileged position. Many of our global brothers and sisters are suffering terribly. Not to listen, not to care, diminishes us all as human beings. Australia has particular geographic, historical, and economic relationships and responsibilities embracing both developed and developing nations. Our ultimate best defense is the goodwill of our neighbours.

Has underlying historical injustice been addressed?

Test five for all legislation: does it build community