This is something I have been pondering on for a while and there is some interesting studies, research and thought leadership on this subject. In our local community that is in fact the fastest growing in Australia, we have an interesting divide between the old and the new and, we are growing so rapidly and artificially that we are in danger of losing our identity if we do stop and reflect on the vision we have for our community, what it stands for and where it wants to go.
I had the pleasure of being a mentor for a recent enterprise project locally and last night the participants graduated. I was bursting with pride for having been a part of something grassroots and powerful, but at the same time I was looking on and reflecting on what I was seeing. This was community! We were all from different corners of the world, our accents were eclectic and there were a multitude of young children running around playing with each other and upstaging the proceedings at times. Yes, this is our community, Young, hopeful, inclusive, collaborative and full of dreams and ideas about how they could start a local business, make a difference and find their place and make a future for their family.
Photo courtesy Enterprise Tarneit Graduation Ceremony
What I think this brought home to me was how important is our “need to belong” to feel “part of something” and to find our “sense of purpose.” We were united in a sense of achievement, but, also, I think feeling that we were part of something special. I think this emulates true inclusion, cohesion and “Interculturalism involves moving beyond mere passive acceptance of a multicultural fact of multiple cultures effectively existing in a society and instead promotes dialogue and interaction between cultures.”
Our world is in a state of flux at the moment and unfortunately, there are those that would seek to divide us and manipulate our bigotries and fears. This is sad and true and something we must stand up to and challenge if we are to truly thrive in brotherhood and sisterhood with one another. We cannot afford to keep thinking win-lose but win-win. It is in our DNA and what we most crave and if we are to evolve as humankind we must develop empathy for each other.
I was very uplifted by what I saw last night and I wish all those participants well with their enterprises and I know it has given me fuel to keep focusing on building collaboration and cohesion within our local community. We live local, work local, shop local and we love local! Will you join us on this journey?