The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” – Coretta Scott King.
There was a time in a distant past, when I was an eager churchgoer. I had recently moved to a big city, and had neither relatives nor friends living close by. So, I took to a church in my vicinity as a way to socialize, and with the hope of finding like-minded people.
At first, attending Sunday services was both a curious and intimidating experience. The curious part is that I actually enjoyed the services. The intimidating part was that everybody seemed to know each other, personally. I felt like an outside.
Yet I turned down every invitation, from the friendly members of the congregation, to stay for tea after services. I suddenly didn’t feel like a chit-chat. I was always making excuses, too precious of my time. For someone who was there to socialize, I was doing a bad job at it. But some members of that community never gave up, and one day I finally gave in and stayed for tea. Till this day, I remain in touch with a few close acquaintances I made from that exercise.
The moral of the story? I learned from that experience, and other similar ones, that you have to give what you want to receive.
So, the question is what are you giving to others, in these uncertain times?
note: This piece was inspired by Rosemary’s post on the value of community.