May 08, 2012
You can’t spell "community" without "unity." No school, police department, prevention group or parent can hope to build a drug-free future on their own. Our destinies are intertwined, and so too must be our efforts. Our communities brand us in so many ways. They shape our norms, values, beliefs and trajectories. But at the same time, our communities are nothing more than reflections of ourselves.
We are all contributors to the union of spirits that constitute our neighborhoods, cities, regions and nation. Within those geographic spaces, large and small, we live out our interwoven lives. Together, our families enjoy the rewards and suffer the failures achieved by the people and institutions with whom we coexist.
We succeed together. We fail together. The difference between these two outcomes is often found in partnership. Communities who join hands, share responsibilities, build bridges and aspire to achieve as one inevitably enrich their individual members with life-long assets.
Social organization, that palpable cohesiveness between both the institutions of our community and the people within it, supports and protects us on an individual level. At the same time, this interdependence draws from our own individual strengths and pays them forward to the benefit of those surrounding us. This doesn’t only raise the bar for our kids, but it tightens up the cracks in our society. It draws in those who may have otherwise floundered on the fringes. It elevates those who have fallen and it steadies those who have been weakened by life’s inevitable impositions.
The collaboration of our school, police, faith, government, prevention, treatment and volunteer officials is not just a best practice; it is an essential practice. Equally important is the intimate involvement of our courageous parents, each of whom has accepted responsibility for creating and raising our nation’s most precious resource –our children.
Only unity can propel our communities towards a brighter day.
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