Common Sense of Community

07 Dec

My family is embarking on a journey.

I feel that it’s time to rein “it” back in.  Things are a little wild right now in the world, and “keeping it simple” is anything but.  There is just too much of everything and everyone is too far apart.  It’s tempting to opine on the state of affairs in society as I watch everyone buried in their Smart Phones instead of talking to their fellow man or taking in the world around them, but I’m just as guilty, so to do such would be fraudulent.  But what I will do is attempt to grab the rudder of my ship and angle it in a slightly different direction.

My intent on this journey is to connect with my past and get back to the family and community values instilled in me by default when I was a child.

To be honest, I didn’t even realize half of the things I was being taught because they were second nature.  We went to church every Sunday, we ate dinner as a family, we went to nearly every family party, and we got our housewares from the local hardware store.  I know I’m “piling on” a bit with that last example, as the “buy local” thing is in full gear these days, but I’m talking about this dynamic more in a community sense than supporting local economy.

For example, I have fond memories of my Dad taking me to Jones’ Hardware in town and Mr. Jones knowing my Dad by name.  There was a little bell over the door that rung every time you walked in, Mr. Jones would come out from behind the counter to help if you couldn’t find what you needed, and you never left there without the item you were looking for.  Never.  I want my sons to experience this type of local flavor.

Another goal of mine on this journey is take the family to church.  We all know that the two most polarizing and zero sum topics in life are politics and religion, so while I won’t get into personal views, I will say that I haven’t consistently gone to church in a long time.  The one thing I do know is that there is something to be said for seeing the same people over and over, week after week, in a setting focused on teaching honorable morals and values.  Doing something good with your family is rewarding, so I have to believe doing so with other families and individuals is not only rewarding, but also helps to reinforce your faith in society and humanity.

Closer to home, I’m fortunate enough to say we eat dinner together as a family every single night.  A sit down dinner.  But, I would like part of this journey to include bringing back the “Sunday” dinner of times past.  Let’s be realistic though, many Sundays now belong to the NFL, so I will be flexible on the actual day, but the point is, I would like to sit down to dinner more often with the extended members of my family.

In short, my goal for this journey is two-fold – I want to keep things simple together with my family and I want to know more people by name.

So please, drop me a line and say hello.  My name is Brad and I’m going to church this Sunday with my family.

‘Brad the Dad’ is a parent columnist and can be reached at  Follow him on Facebook or Twitter at keyword: readbradthedad

This article originally appeared on Chelmsford Patch on 12/3/11.

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Posted by on December 7, 2011 in Brad the Dad


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