From John Lindsay Hamilton


Where is our community sprit?

According to Amitai Etzioni, community spirit is a unity of people in society who uphold and share similar values and resources. It is a prerequisite for community spirit that individuals are willing to a degree to sacrifice their own interests for the good of the community.

1) Community spirit is associated with voluntary work, favors and gestures of goodwill by residents and local businesses. A dictionary definition of “community spirit” is “willingness and desire to participate in activities that promote a community.”

2) The measure of community spirit is subjective, but could be assessed from the achievements resulting from community activities, in addition to the level of contentment expressed by community members.

According to Durkheim, collective effervescence indicates the intensity of group bonds through communal gatherings such as religious meetings. These bonds people create within a group ‘generate a kind of electricity that quickly transports them to an extraordinary degree of exaltation.’

3) Meaning, when people come together in such near proximity and share the sense of group, it generates a high degree of happiness. Thus, creating a feeling of collectiveness which reinforces social bonds. This feeling is initiated when there is group cohesiveness, for example, when individuals share the same life experience the sense of group occurs.

4) The expression of community spirit entails a group or individual engaging in activities that benefit the community, what bonds the group in community spirit is the goal. The group works toward the same common goal, which is to better the community by committing positive acts of voluntary work.

We have the resources to do great things, so why are we the way we are? We can be a very strong community or we can be a very weak group of individuals. Maybe it is time to stand together and make our communities the way we were when we supported each other. We need to start thinking of things that we, as an individual, need to do to help keep our community spirt alive and well.

Do we have the courage to stand up to do what is good for our communities? Or are we just interested in our paycheck and benefits or pensions?

We need to think of the future. There are many things that can be done.

As I have said before, there are three types of employees. Twenty percent that take ownership and help everyone, 60 percent that are there just for their paycheck, and the last 20 percent that want to destroy everything. This is the community, too. If the first 20 percent go away, then what do you have left? People who don’t care or want to destroy?

We need people who want to stand up. I know people that see things that they can’t stand but are afraid to say so; they don’t want to lose their jobs. So we lose our community. If you are afraid of losing your job, it isn’t worth having.

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