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Natural Awakenings Milwaukee

Letter from Publisher

Strong communities are the cornerstone of a healthy society. They have been shown to benefit individuals, families and local businesses by creating a sense of belonging, and by helping its members feel safe and secure. Our December theme, Uplifting Humanity, honors how we can come together for a greater purpose. Our feature article, “The Emerging Power of ‘We’: Awakening to the Evolution of Community,” explores how building community can raise human potential and make us stronger—together.

Communities form in many ways. Some of the more common types of groups include people interested in enriching a geographically defined area or space, such as neighborhood associations and park clean-up groups; people wishing to explore similar interests, such as cooking and sailing clubs; and people gathering together to practice spiritual beliefs or good works, such as prayer groups and volunteer outings. It would be a daunting task to list every established nonprofit community organization and informal individual group in Milwaukee that engages in social justice causes, cleaning waterways, improving neighborhoods or sharing skills, all while enjoying the camaraderie of like-minded people. Whatever the goal of a community group, the sense of connection and shared effort toward a common goal forges friendships and satisfies that natural human need to feel a sense of belonging.

That sense of community is sometimes fractured in today’s culture, which encompasses divided families, people frequently changing jobs and/or moving from place to place, and declining membership in civic clubs. But it’s not hard to get involved—a simple online search can yield dozens of organizations, causes and activities related to almost any passion imagined. Don’t see one in your area? Form your own. Organizing a community cleanup—or even holding a rummage sale—can introduce you to neighbors that you might not have otherwise met.

This month’s Wise Words also takes us on a journey to uplift humanity with the story of Mary Neal, an orthopedic surgeon and author of 7 Lessons from Heaven: How Dying Taught Me to Live a Joy-Filled Life. Neal shares her account of a near-death experience during which, she believes, she penetrated the veil dividing the physical and spiritual worlds. Her life-altering experience prompted her to pay more attention to those things that are truly meaningful in life: faith, family and relationships with others.

How each of us lives individually will ultimately reflect on our neighborhoods, communities and beyond. Let’s all strive for peaceful, safe and prosperous communities for everyone in 2020.

Wishing you a blessed holiday season,

Gabriella Buchnik, Publisher

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