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Tag Archives: community

Deck Chair

fischer-719759_1280The woman sat on the deck chair looking out to sea and imagined a far-off ship going to the tropics. There it would find the warmth she had never experienced. She enjoyed a good life in a material sense at least. In personal relationships, she had been less fortunate. And so, she could buy a gift for anyone but had no one to give it.

 

A child run across the beach carrying an inflatable ball. Something attracted the youngster to the woman. So, she threw the ball towards her. Affronted by the girl’s forwardness, she was tempted to retreat into her book with a glower. Instead, the woman sent the ball through the air and into grateful hands. For a minute, they amused each other as they played out a game. Then the girl gave a shy smile and ran off to somewhere unknown.

Brightened, the woman looked around and saw couples, families and groups enjoying shared companionship. She should have felt excluded but somehow, she had reconnected with the human race. That was enough.

 

 The ship upon the grey ocean dropped below the horizon.

 

This came for a book of reflection that you can read free at Wattpad.

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She Wrote A Letter To The Woman Behind Her At The Grocery Store. You Have To Read This…

It’s easy to be cynical about everyone  begging we meet. Here is a story of are real people in real need…….

 

She Wrote A Letter To The Woman Behind Her At The Grocery Store. You Have To Read This….

 
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Posted by on 05/04/2014 in charity, community, justice

 

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Courage to Sing

Well it’s that time of year again. Time that is for this year’s Gareth Malone documentary on teaching the world to sing. Well, not the world but some of the most deprived areas of Britain and some of the most disinterested individuals in singing. Yet with   his ventures, he has changed lives and brightened communities forever.

He started with a school outside london and got them as far as a global Choir Competition in China. He got singers from a boy’s school that prided itself on its sporting excellence to the Albert Hall and he took a community choir from dysfunctional ‘new town’ to the Barbican.

Yet despite past successes, each series starts with his dispiriting tour of youth clubs, pubs and schools trying to drum up volunteers who want to sing. This not only takes the fortitude of an evangelical Jehovah’s Witness but also the courage of British Tommies going over the top at the Somme. For example, who can forget him singing a Handel solo to the morning school assembly full of cynical and street-wise kids?

But as each programme unfolds, Gareth is not the only one displaying unadulterated courage, so do the would-be singers that he invariably finds in the least likely places. Many do not make it through. But for those who do we see them changing before our eyes. because, maybe for the first time in their lives, they have found something inspiring, something they want to do and something that is their own. Few will become the Alfie’s & Brin’s of tomorrow, but each will have a better tomorrow.

Nevertheless, the current series – taking teenagers through to singing an opera at Glynebourne – calls for courage from some other people. Since many who attend opera at this expensive venue, will have preconceived ideas of youth. They too will need to have the courage to to be challenged and changed as they are invited into the youngsters’ better tomorrow. For as Oliver Wendell Homes said -‘Man’s mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions’ .

 

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Public Libraries – future community hubs?

Where do men go on Saturday? Good question! In the past, it would have been football matches, golf courses and those ‘of a certain age’ the bowling club. But the public library – come off it!

Well so I thought until visiting my local book lender this Saturday morning. And it was packed out with males; some on laptops, others browsing the newspapers and more online on the library’s PCs. Some were even drinking coffee, looking at the books and nipping out for a quick puff on the now internally banned tobacco.

Now probably the recession requires those out of work to surf the job ads and those in work to study to stay so. Yet the sense of a busy community life about the place, both for  effort and pleasure, was palpable.

But libraries are for books and tatty governmental leaflets surely with the odd notice (in every sense of the word) for the local spiritualists’ meeting. Well, if  this is the purpose which the customers seem to want, don’t knock it. Since it might prevent public libraries,  going the way of the village pub, the parish church and the corner shop.

In fact, with our granulated, home-working, coffee shop meeting business environment, maybe these traditional ‘information centres’ have a future as communuty meeting points, business venues and just hubs for daily life. Evolve or die then in my book.


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Customer Waiting?

“Assistant to electricals – customer waiting!” – the supermarket loudspeaker blares out and that half amuses and half annoys. For the suggestion is that if some unfortunate doesn’t get themselves amongst the kettles ‘tout suite’ then something unspeakable, possibly lingering, will happen to them. It’s all nonsense, of course. They’ll finish their cuppa and amble along in due course. Yet the illusion has been maintained – you are a valuable, even an invaluable, customer whose time is as rubies.  Moreover, the company’s fiction is sprayed around like fake coffee aroma – our clients have status instead of just being till roll receipts.

It’s for these reasons too we lap adverts of smiling call centre staffs, waving shop-keepers and bank tellers who are family friends. For deep down we want to be part of a community of which we are real part – where the people we meet have some sort of concern for us as humans. Needless to say this type of community is possible even sustainable; it just takes investment. That means the spending not of money but time and emotional energy. Since the bottom line is we get what we pay for. The question must be is there a “customer waiting!”

 

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