When you think of a healthy community, what do you picture?  Maybe, “Healthy people in healthy communities”?  That’s the Bermuda Department of Health’s take on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) health promotion initiative of the past three decades.  The concept never gets old.  Nor does Martin Luther King Jr’s concept of the “Beloved Community” described in his iconic final work, “Where Do We Go from Here:  Chaos or Community.” 

These phrases bring to mind what community well-being is and is not.  Its healthy people, working together to create a healthy community; connecting with each other in wholesome ways, supporting and encouraging each other’s endeavors, finding ways to consult despite different perspectives and sometimes competing interests.  It’s having difficult conversations guided by mutual respect and empathy.

This is what can happen when there is unity of thought and purpose.  If we can all agree, that community well-being is our highest interest, then we can work together to solve whatever problems are before us.  As simple as this is to say, it is not easy.  MLK put it this way:

Our goal is to create a beloved community and this will require a qualitative change in our souls
as well as a quantitative change in our lives.

Let’s explore together what this all means.