Being A Star In Our Communities

My first grader attends an after-school enrichment program. The curriculum is designed around a monthly theme. This past month, the students executed their creative genius focusing on the theme, Being a Star in our Communities. Yesterday, my daughter came home quite excited, saying, “I know what you do for a job, Mommy!”

Explaining what I do for a living to my seven year old daughter has been as challenging as explaining my job responsibilities to adults. As I and several others have discussed previously, there is more to our job than working in front of our computers in our jammies posting Twitter and Facebook updates. A lot more. So, when my daughter came home announcing she knew now about my career, I asked her to tell me in her words what she thought she had discovered.

“You build things for others to make them stars in the community!”

And my daughter is spot on. This is what I strive to do each day.

Over the course of the month, my daughter and her fellow students have been busy little bees designing projects created with the intention of making the people they care about smile. Together with their teachers, they have constructed birdhouses to welcome their feathered friends back to the school trees, made thank you books and planted flowers for other teachers.

Not one of the projects the students undertook was with the focus of making them a star. It was about making those in the community feel as if they were a star. Each gift was a gift that keeps giving and not some one-size-fits-all limited time offer. The students considered what the intended recipient truly desired and needed, then without any pre-existing condition, they delivered their gifts. Asking for nothing in return and elated when they saw the smiles on the faces of the recipients.

This is MY job.

I deliver gifts each day to the communities I serve. A helping hand. A shoulder to lean on. A person to vent to or confide. A person to recognize that they are seen and heard. Not just another number in the population. The gifts the community manager and/or team delivers are gifts that keep giving and we ask nothing in return. We are here to give you the soil you need to find nourishment and space to grow. We are hear to construct a safe space for you to find shelter, ask questions and challenge the status quo.

As I have said before and will say many more times, social media is nothing new. Community management is nothing new. It is about humans relating to other humans. A most basic function, so often overlooked as an afterthought.

How are you amplifying the smiles of your community?

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  • mihaela_v

    this is a really sweet post, and captures ideas about community management very well. heart-warming, too!

    • Lauren

      Thank you, Mihaela. It was a post I wrote without planning, but seemed to carry an easy to digest message about community relations.

  • Jennifer Montfort

    It is amazing how much you can accomplish, how much good you can do, when you keep this in mind. I’ve done a lot of thinking lately about how simple it is to do everything in this post, and how very often people overlook it in the name of getting things done or to not appear weak. The reality, of course, is that smiles beget more smiles; and that’s good for everyone. There’s beauty in doing something and not asking anything in return. But from a practical standpoint it also makes it much easier for you to ask for something in return *only* if you really need it down the road. These tools builds community; the alternative may work in the short run but doesn’t do anything for the long term.