By Gary Hibbs
There is no doubt that these are exciting times at Riderwood with the recent celebration of the completion of our shiny new Town Center community building. Inside this edition of the Reporter, you’ll see that. It’s like the opening of a present, and it’s a lot of fun! And, although there are as many differing opinions regarding aesthetics as there are people, the general consensus is that it looks great and is an enhancement to Riderwood.
Nonetheless, as exciting as new buildings are, there is something else central to our mission that is even more exciting, and that is the “creation of community.” To be sure, new buildings and their enhanced beauty and utility are a part of creating community. Yet, what gets me most excited is that this will promote the life of connection and interdependence for all of us; the relationships that are central to the flourishing of each of us individually and corporately.
A resident recently sent me a note that included a quotation from Parker Palmer’s book Healing the Heart of Democracy. In it, he argues that there are habits of the heart that are crucial to sustaining democracy. He says, “We must strengthen our capacity to create community…The steady companionship of two or three kindred spirits can kindle the courage we need to speak and act as citizens.”
I think that is true at Riderwood. We want to create a community where everyone has the knowledge that they belong as a citizen here, no matter what. Your story and voice and opinions matter. You matter. That is what we are all about! I hope you enjoy the new buildings, and there are more to come. But even more, enjoy the companionship of others. Tell your story. Give your opinion. Create community. Celebrate life.