The Role of the Citizen

Submitted by Paul Born on April 21, 2015 - 4:24am

After one of his seven Deepening Community with Collective Impact workshops in Australia and New Zealand, Paul Born was interviewed by Paul Bishop In Redland City, Australia, about the true cost of deepening community- both socially and economically.

 “Fundamentally when a sense of community is not strong, it is very costly to government. “  He argues that it costs tens of millions of dollars to pay for services to fill in the gaps where a deepened sense of community and caring for one another should be.  From trips to the emergency room, to public safety, to parks and recreation- we all pay the price when we don’t take care of one another and work together to build a sense of community.

Recently, there has been a swell of cynicism criticism of our governments and politicians for not doing more for us.  There has been emphasis placed on the gaps in our system.  Born believes that rather than deferring all responsibilities for these gaps to the government, we, as citizens, should be asking ourselves more questions, such as what roles can we be playing in making our community a great place to live?  How are we making this world a better place to live? How do we build a deeper sense of connection?  At the same time, we need to find a seamless way in which local governments and state governments see the valued role of citizens.  Their job is, in fact, to reach out to and engage citizens in the life of the community.

It’s not about creating a revolution, it’s about fostering an evolution that re-imagines ourselves and embracing what we have.  It’s about recognizing and celebrating the assets that we share and finding ways to work together to create a better world.  As he shares in his book, it’s about moving from a fear-based society, to one that finds joy in the gifts that are right in front of us.

Please click here to see the interview or for more information on Deepening Community, please visit the website www.deepeningcommunity.org.