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The Importance of Community (and Keeping the Spirit of the Calgary Stampede Alive)
Community. When you think of that word, what does it mean to you? I’m sure if I asked 100 people, I’d get 100 different answers. But if you look to the font of all wisdom – Wikipedia – what does it say? Well, here is their definition:
A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as norms, religion, values, customs, or identity. Communities may share a sense of place situated in a given geographical area (e.g. a country, village, town, or neighbourhood) or in virtual space through communication platforms. Durable relations that extend beyond immediate genealogical ties also define a sense of community, important to their identity, practice, and roles in social institutions such as family, home, work, government, society, or humanity at large. Although communities are usually small relative to personal social ties, “community” may also refer to large group affiliations such as national communities, international communities, and virtual communities…In a seminal 1986 study, McMillan and Chavis identify four elements of “sense of community”:
- membership: feeling of belonging or of sharing a sense of personal relatedness,
- influence: mattering, making a difference to a group and of the group mattering to its members
- reinforcement: integration and fulfillment of needs,
- shared emotional connection.
Dan Sullivan, one of the co-founders of Strategic Coach – an entrepreneurial coaching program I have personally benefited from over the last 22 years – states in one of his excellent articles that being involved in a community can:
- help deal with loneliness;
- provide safety in numbers;
- help learn from others’ successes and failures;
- provide the opportunity to gain a truly unique perspective;
- introduce accountability partners to help stay on track; and
- provide the opportunity to experience co-operative competition.
There are no shortage of community books, definitions and perspectives. But the above captures it nicely for me. When I reflect on the above, the community of Calgary comes to mind. For those of you familiar with Calgary, you’ll know that it is a young, energetic, entrepreneurial community that is filled with “can-do” people.
However, the last six years have been very challenging for Calgary. There have been numerous and continuous blows that have challenged this sense of community. The one constant has always been the Calgary Stampede. The Stampede has a 108-year history and while some locals might get a bit grumpy once in awhile with all the “yee-hawing”, I think it’s fair to say that all Calgarians are quite proud of what the Stampede brings yearly – and throughout the year – to help build Calgary’s community. This year, because of COVID-19, the Stampede (originally scheduled for July 3 – 12, 2020) has been cancelled for the first time ever. Hugely disappointing. But – in true Calgary fashion – the Stampede states the following on its website:
OUR COMMUNITY SPIRIT CANNOT BE CANCELLED.
We may not be able to gather together or celebrate in traditional ways during Stampede 2020, but that won’t stop Stampede spirit from shining through during the ten days in July. Whether you Stampede at home, in your yard, or with your neighbours, we’re excited to see how you create Community Spirit this year.
Keep your hats on!
What a wonderful way to capture Calgary’s sense of community. Accordingly, all of us here at Moodys Tax are excited to pick-up the challenge of continuing and creating the “Community Spirit”. We have a bunch of internal events planned (such as pancake breakfasts, a week of western attire, family events) and even some external events where we’ll be engaging with our clients, friends and community to socialize and raise some money for the Calgary Food Bank. We challenge all of of our friends – regardless of where you are in the world – to join us and the Calgary community to continue to create the Calgary Community Spirit. Here’s to Community! The Calgary Stampede is definitely correct…community spirit cannot be cancelled! Cheers!
And yee-haw and yahoo!!