As I was doing landmark curriculum for living, one thing that we did at the last stage was going into the community.
We are so caught up in our personal lives that we forget that we have an obligation to be responsible members of our communities. There are people for whom expressing this responsibility is so interwoven into their personal lives that it is simply a natural extension of who they are. Others might need to take a moment to consider how to be more responsible for the communities in which we live.
One of the participants went on a drive to plant trees in the society, what started off, within in society eventually created a ripple on to the neighbourhood. Along with weekly home-grown vegetable exchange happening.
Communities thrive on the talents of their members, so one approach to the community is to see what we can offer and find ways to bring that into the community that we belong. Like one of the participants organized the monthly bill paying service.
Here I would like to share about Kannamma, our anatomy professor’s wife, who ran the Mahila Samaj at Manipal as a social service activity, was actually instrumental in creating the community bonding in Manipal. Today she is almost hitting ninety, but she goes to the nearby hospital and writes letters on behalf of the patients to their friends and relatives.
There was Saraswathi aunty who organized a moonlight kaituttu-oota (eating with your palm.) – All the kids would sit down on the grass, and food like bisibele bath (spice rice) and mosaranna (curd rice), would be served on our palm, we had to eat without using plates and dessert was always gulabjamoon.
Somehow it’s the artists of every community who tend to be the pied pipers.
The old communities are no doubt weakening, but creating new ones are up to us.
“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday: An Autobiographical Collage