Creating Community

One of the most important factors to living a happy and fulfilled life is being part of a COMMUNITY.  This can look like many different things.  You could have childhood friends, you could hang out with your family a lot, have sports friends, salsa friends, work friends, wine friends, beer friends, pet-owner friends, a book club, World of Warcraft “club”, church friends, atheist friends, you name it!  Community can look like whatever you want it to.

The Truck

The Truck

This morning I “hosted” a Curbside coffee and Chat with our local Police Department.  It wasn’t a lot of work for me; all I did was pass out fliers to all my neighbors (~3 hours) and wake up early (6am) to meet with Officer Ralph Ordonez, who really organized the whole event. This morning he parked his big Police Truck outside my house and we just drank coffee, ate donuts, and said hi to all the neighbors.  We got a visit from Lieutenant Ed Calatayad as well as other officers (if that didn’t scare away all the sketchy people, I don’t know what will).  The event aimed to educate our neighborhood about crimes, community programs held by the Pasadena Police Department, and for officers to speak with everyone about whatever they wanted.

None of us knew each other before today.

Some of our Pasadena Police Officers and my neighbors.

Some of our Pasadena Police Officers and my neighbors.

Yes, it helped that I am an extrovert, BUT even my introvert neighbors came outside.  They didn’t speak much, but they didn’t need to…they were just a part of the community.  Everyone at one point expressed to me that they were glad this event happened and they were glad to meet each other. Why?

Community!  Having the chance to connect with neighbors and some of our Pasadena police officers…spending time with one type of Community.

Fun at the CC&C

Fun at the Curbside Coffee & Chat

There are many articles and studies that explain why being part of a community can help you emotionally and physically.  All you have to do is google it and you’ll see a wealth of information.  Here’s an excerpt that I found particularly interesting:

“Social connection improves physical health and psychological well-being. One telling study showed that lack of social connection is a greater detriment to health than obesity, smoking and high blood pressure. On the the flip side, strong social connection leads to a 50% increased chance of longevity.  Social connection strengthens our immune system (research by Steve Cole shows that genes impacted by social connection also code for immune function and inflammation), helps us recover from disease faster, and may even lengthen our life. People who feel more connected to others have lower rates of anxiety and depression. Moreover, studies show they also have higher self-esteem, are more empathic to others, more trusting and cooperative and, as a consequence, others are more open to trusting and cooperating with them. Social connectedness therefore generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional and physical well-being. Unfotunately, the opposite is also true for those who lack social connectedness. Low social connection has been generally associated with declines in physical and psychological health as well as a higher propensity to antisocial behavior that leads to further isolation.”

 

(read the rest of the article HERE)

That’s a lot of information, I know.  The POINT is, COMMUNITY IS GOOD for EVERYONE!

What communities are you a part of?  If you can’t name one, it’s time to get out there…..now!

Officer Ralph Ordonez, Me, and Lieutenant Ed Calatayud

Officer Ralph Ordonez, Me, and Lieutenant Ed Calatayud

3 comments

  • Milissa Buckles

    I am wondering what this could be like if the coach could come to East Pasadena Hastings ranch Parking lot at Ralphs Grocery Store.

  • Hey Christine, I’m a police officer in Canada currently completing a course entitled “Policing The Modern Community” (see http://www.dal.ca/faculty/cce/programs/police-leadership/courses/policing-the-modern-community.html). I came across your blog post during my research and subsequently located the related Pasadena PD web page. This looks like a great initiative to build relationships and trust with the community away from the typical police enforcement or response oriented actions. It’s much more beneficial to get to know the community (other than those police have to repeatedly deal with) in this fashion. I’m certain Pasadena PD appreciates your efforts to assist building social capital in the community. Thanks for your post. R.

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