OPINION: Walk just a mile in my community shoes first
MY DEFINITION of community is - you bake a cake for a community event at the local hall. You go to the event, pay to get in, and buy a slice of the cake you made.
Community is coming together, in good times and bad. Community is about different people and different opinions.
I meet a variety of people in my job. Successful people, those struggling to make ends meet ... volunteers, old and young, different nationalities, Aboriginal people, farmers, urbanites and a few dogs, cats, cows and even bats along the way.
I thrive in the melting pot of community. What I don't like is malicious gossip. It is too easy to judge someone different to you.
Walk a mile in their shoes first. Until we find out what drives someone - judging them halts any understanding from happening.
I met a man this week who said he was "done for DV". He was learning to manage his anger with the help of counsellors and doctors.
His childhood sounded rough and, while that is no excuse for violence against women, if I hadn't had the conversation with him, I wouldn't have gained insight into the ways people can learn to control their anger and not lash out violently.
Community is celebration too. No matter how small a success or joy in life, celebrate it. These are the community stories that are a pleasure to publish.