Community is vitally important, especially right now!
Our society has been drifting into a ‘keep-yourself-to-yourself’ mentality. It was becoming hard even to say
Thinking of smiling or greeting?
- Would they wonder what I want?
- Or think I’m ‘one of those people’ they can’t get rid of?
- Would I be ‘invading their private space?’
It all seemed too difficult, and so many of us tended to pass others by, head down, no eye contact.
No ‘permission to smile’?
Now, with Coronavirus, the problem has become even more critical. Just when we need vibrant, supportive communities, this is the danger:
- Less neighbourly support for those who need it
- An urgent need for help (e.g. with shopping for elderly people) unfulfilled
- An ever-greater burden on an already-overstretched public sector
- Less community spirit
- More isolation
- More loneliness
- Less encouragement and belonging
How to fix this?
We need to make a change and that requires people power! Here’s how we can all take part:
- Start smiling and greeting again, especially where we live (a smile gives new heart, not a virus!)
- Take opportunities for simple friendliness (while obeying health guidelines)
- Work with neighbours to support elderly people on your street.
- Use those new links to start a Street Association when things get back to normal – details here
- Support us on social media – help us get this message out!
Permission to Smile song, performed at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall as part of Youth Proms 2019 – delightful!
What we’re doing in Birmingham, plus a personal message from Sir Lenny Henry!
Neighbourhood organizations can also play a vital role as local catalysts – churches, community centres, schoolsMore Information!
Join the friendliness revolution!
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