It was Corretta Scott King who said “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate action of its members. Therefore, any community that solely depends on the Government for immediate development is sure of waiting for a long, long time.
Truly, when the development of our communities are not perceived as a collective responsibility for all but as the duty of the Government alone, we lose a lot more than we can imagine. And as a result, potentials and credible ideas that are embedded in individuals in a given community will not be properly harnessed to produce creative solutions that will ensure sustainable development beyond our existence in our communities.
For instance, back in the days, in some communities in Nigeria, educational institutions were established through the collective effort and donations of members of the community. They understood the fact that “no investment yields as great a return as the investment in education: an educated workforce is the foundation of every community and the future of every economy(Brad Hendry).
Notice that, the members of the community did not depend on the Government to establish schools in their communities but they took it upon themselves to erect structures and also provide facilities which were later handed over to the Government to run the daily affairs of administration. Currently, I think that we need to reflect back and embrace the spirit of collective progress by not only thinking globally but by also acting locally just as it was done back in the days.
Brian Eno, an English musician and composer made an excellent analysis about singing in a group which is very relative to community development. He said:
“When you sing with a group of people, you learn how to subsume yourself into a group consciousness because a Capella singing is all about the immersion of the self into the community. That’s one of the great feelings – to stop being me for a little while and to become us. That way lies empathy, the great social virtue.”
Real and sustainable community change requires the initiative and engagement of community members (Helena Gayle). Let’s build a community that allows hard questions and honest conversations so that we can stir up transformation in one another. Always remember that the way to change the world is through individual responsibility and taking local action in your own community! Take more action, engage in meaningful conversations and stop complaining.
Lead Contributor: Nkaiso Asikpo