A strong community is built upon differences.
In the Oxford Dictionary, the word community is standardly defined as a group of people residing in the same place, who generally have the same common characteristics and interests. However, I argue that this is not what a community is at all. As a matter of fact, it is quite the opposite. A strong community is built upon differences. Different cultures, different religions, different interests, as well as different thoughts and opinions. The more distinctively unalike we are, the more inclusive, accepting and successful our community will be.
I would advise young adults like myself to focus on putting their energy into something that is completely unrelated to all of their normal curriculars. We often grow and change the most when we push ourselves out of our comfort zone, and beyond the line of who we have settled to believe we are. The same thing goes for the community. It is not when our community is all the same that we see bursts of change or improvement, but it is when we see that ripple of distinction. Whether it is speaking out for what you believe in, providing advantageous opportunities for yourself and others, or educating the youth with a new mindset that will benefit the generations to come, you are truly making the community we live in a better one. I mean, nothing changes, if nothing changes right?
On the topic of community, the Dare to Be Youth Charity (DTBY) has had so much incredible support from so many different individuals this past year. Businesses, sponsorships, and daily donations, have granted hundreds of young adults the gifts of a support system, a brother/sister hood and of course, hope. The DTBY Inspire Box was not just created by people who work together, but it was created to bring people together. What I have learned is this: a true community does not put up walls to shut out the people, or characteristics that seemingly make it different, but instead builds bridges to lift up those who are ready to radiate their light upon the world!