An Ode to the Local…
October 13, 2011 Leave a comment
“Who are the people in your neighbourhood?…the people that you meet each day”
We talk so frequently about the joys and realities of the global, yet an equal and necessary counterbalance is that of the local. To belong and be a part of a community is so very important in this world of mobility, speed and change. The capacity to connect and to be grounded in relationships that matter is essential for our wellbeing. For our clients, the capacity to get involved with and belong to healthy communities, whether they be global or local, is essential.
What a joy to now have our business situated in the heart of a community of connected people who live and work in the one place. The capacity to have everything you need within a short walk, and so many close friends nearby is an absolute delight. I travel interstate or internationally on an almost weekly basis, and there is nothing more special than coming ‘home’ to the community where our business resides.
The Marrickville main street is a vibrant mix of locally owned and run businesses. McDonalds and KFC have both gone out of business here, and to sample some of the local food is to know just why. I often start the day with a coffee made by Sascha at Marrickville Road café – the guy who knows my family, and my kids. At the café, I’m guaranteed to bump into a few locals, our real estate agent, the beauticians from the local salon, or parents from the school. The alternative is Coffee Alchemy, known as ‘The Temple’ – a place where people come to wait and pay homage to the best coffee in Sydney. At the time of day I was previously spending travelling to our city office in packed trains of cranky commuters, I now take my daughter to the local school. At the assembly I, and a gaggle of other parents are greeted by 150 kids chorusing “good morning, parents up the back”. The school teaches Vietnamese, Greek and Mandarin and is another hub of the local community.
At Beasley Intercultural we assist clients negotiate the challenges of traversing, engaging and working with highly complex and diverse communities. In recent months we have been fortunate to work with individuals involved in the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan, also worked with senior corporate leaders in a multinational accounting company focusing on client engagement in complex, global contexts, and are preparing to facilitate discussions with the Community Detention Network in Australia with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and the Red Cross, The theme cutting across these contexts is that in our businesses and our organisations, we neglect the local, and the community at our peril. The thread that binds, is the necessity of engaging with and acknowledging the existing strengths and resilience of diverse communities.
Community is what grounds us, what feeds our soul, and what enables us to be at our best. Our capacity to get involved in, and connect with our community matters.