A community is a group of people with common interests and values. A community is characterized by “wholeness incorporating diversity” and may include people of different ages, ethnicities, educational backgrounds and incomes. Individuals may be members of two or more communities eg a residential area, an educational institution, a social club or even a place of worship. All these are small communities of people living, working, playing and serving together.
Community responsibilities are an individual’s duties or obligations to the community and include co-operation, respect and participation. Members of a community go beyond thinking and acting as individuals to common beliefs about shared interests and life. A basic community responsibility is voting in elections and all of us should be exercising our rights as citizens of this country.
Each individual is part of a larger community. Here in Taman Sri Nibong, each of us is part of a family who makes up our TSN community. All families, neighbours, villages, cities and states form a much larger community in Malaysia, and all the countries of the world form a very large international community.
Members of our TSNRA committee voluntarily come together with a shared sense of purpose for the common good of our Taman community. Voluntary actions by citizens working together can right injustices, change directions and pursue benefits for the common good. Groups like us can form an alliance to voice out our needs to the State Government and other authorities. There is always strength in number.
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance” (Robert F. Kennedy, former U.S. Attorney General (1925-1968), from a speech at the Day of Affirmation at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, June 1966).
But before we can send forth any ripple, we must learn to be loving, giving and caring towards one another. If each family only cares for its own members, crime can spread in our community. If we throw rubbish into the drains or in our beautiful recreational park, we pollute our own environment. If we do not bother to support Dengue Campaigns by working closely with the health authorities to eradicate the breeding grounds of aedes mosquitoes, one of our family members may get dengue fever, and this has been happening in our Taman.
Ethics is very important in any community. Ethics includes being a responsible individual who takes responsibility for his or her own actions. Being helpful to others is also a very important trait of a community care. We should be helpful to those around us who need us.
Finally, we should take pride in our Taman and be willing to work together as a team. We are living in one of the best housing areas in Penang and our Residents’ Association is one of the most active in our state. Let us treasure what we have and leave a living legacy for our children. Our children, the future leaders of this country, can learn from us the true meaning of community living and corporate responsibility. We are indeed glad that some residents have shown this at the Malaysia Day and Food Bank Charity Dinners. A number of our young people have come forward to help and contribute to their community. In their own ways, these old and young residents have sent forth ripples to be a blessing to others in this Taman Sri Nibong community.