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Living by the Bridge

Recently I had the opportunity to visit a Kurdish Syrian family in their home and share an evening of food, amazing coffee and conversation with them. I have always been one that loved to learn firsthand what other people and cultures were about. Sitting on the floor around the numerous dishes of delicious food I could just imagine what life was like for this family in their past hometown. The glow of the dim lights, the clanking as the people scooped out their food, the laughter and conversations… the family connection. It was an amazing experience for me and one that I will remember for a long time but for my host this time spent with each other was just a daily occurrence in their lives. It’s during these experiences I think back to my journey to get here.

Years ago, eight years to be precise, I was asked to submit my name for the Diversity Officer position. I had no idea what becoming a Diversity Officer entailed other than I would be working with the different diversities that make up our community. I had no idea how incredibly diverse our community was as I had just spent 10 years responding to the calls for service that had come in. I had some great supervisors at that time that guided me and mentored me for the first while. Looking back now I can’t believe how fast the time went and how many great people I’ve met through my Diversity work. My passion for our community has grown from just being “part of the job” to where I’ve found myself often engaged in some type of community building on my own time.

"Part of the Job"

When thinking about community giving one usually thinks of giving of your money but it’s so much more than that. The most valuable commodity anyone can give is their time. Investing time into your community does several things. The first is that it allows for a human connection that so many people long for. Technology is awesome but has disconnected so many of us from each other. True most of us have Facebook or other social media outlets that keep us connected but its superficial connections at best. The second thing it does is allows people from the community that you’re engaged in to feel valuable. The third is that it creates true understanding of each other’s lives and culture. Fourth it allows one to see the beauty of that community.

There are so many good things happening in our community that it’s hard to be involved in all of them. Our only job is to do what we can, which may create a small ripple of goodness for our shared community.
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