In my open letter to Knysna, i appealed to you to treat Knysna as your home and make her a better place for all. Here are suggestions, small and large, how you can connect with our community and help Knysna reach its full potential:
- A community cannot exist without relationships. Meet and greet your neighbours. Start a community welcoming group. Hold a Get to Know Your Neighbour Braai. Neighbours don’t have to be deep in your life to be of value to you and you to them.
- Develop your local park with swings, jungle gyms and lights. Have a Fun Park Day weekly where parents take turns being on duty whilst others get a much-needed break at restaurant. Create a nature garden that they help grow.
- Host an annual celebration for your neighbourhood.
- Start an emailed community newsletter.
- Join your local residents’ association.
- Join the Knysna Ratepayers’ Association for a collective voice. You don’t have to be active but at least share your complaints and allow others to give you advice or even fight for you if the problem is shared by many.
- Volunteer your spare time to a charity even if it’s only once per week…of course, i hope that some of you, especially moms, help with Love Knysna Projects🙂
- For those with skills and talents: Share your favourite recipe with everyone. Donate free photos to a new business in your area. Play a free music show just for the simple joy of sharing music. Make a short documentary for a charity or community such as Judah Square.
- Donate everything you haven’t used in the past year. Your hoarding of clothes, toys and tools doesn’t help you…but it can help someone!
- Give blood.
Education & Perspective:
- Education is paramount, whether it be learning your citizen’s rights and municipal law to dropping off educational books at the nearest creche in need. It could even be reading my blogs…and sharing them:) What you think matters because thought can become action (polls here).
- Vote intelligently. Vote only once you know and agree with what the political party’s plan is for Knysna (not South Africa). And, once you’ve given the politician power, be sure to monitor his or hers activities so that you keep them on a path that represents your community.
- Important to ensure that your children have perspective. If they are lucky to have a stable home and perks, have them help you with others less fortunate. If you are poor, ensure that your children experience as much of Knysna as possible so that they dream themselves towards a bigger life.
- If you have the privilege of concentrating on work or retirement then take time to respect and help those who have to concentrate on simply staying alive.
- Every month, Have a Turn off your TV & Playstation Weekend (TTPW). Remember that one of the reasons why you live in Knysna is for its spectacular nature.
- When treating yourself, get to know the people that serve/help you, from waitrons to the lady behind the deli. It’s amazing what difference it makes to someone if you call them by name or actually wait for them to answer when you ask them how they are doing.
- Give a smiley hello to a stranger that walks by.
- Give a confused tourist directions. Even better, tell them somewhere beautiful to go so that there only impression of Knysna isn’t the Main Road or Grey Street.
- Buy friends and family presents when you see something that makes you think of them. Don’t wait for obligatory birthdays and religious holidays.
- Give someone without a car a lift.
- When you taste something nice, from a croissant to a loaf of rosemary bread, buy an extra one and give it to the next bored shop assistant you meet.
- Walk more. Not only will you help the environment but you will learn to love Knysna intimately.
- Don’t litter. Pick up rubbish. Take it further and organize a beach or a wetlands clean-up. Take the kids with and celebrate afterwards with a picnic.
- Add a water tank and share it with your neighbour for gardening.
- Get rid of alien vegetation.
- Plant food in your garden.
- Don’t eat fish that are endangered.
- Enjoyed a restaurant special? Support those who’re giving us good prices by posting a photo on your Facebook or rating them on TripAdvisor.com.
- Learn your local history. Appreciate the struggles that others experienced so as to give you the Knysna you have today.
- Submit your events and meeting notices to all local media e.g. LoveKnysna.com so that not only will it be more successful but so others can share it too.
Remember to have fun and look on the bright side of life. A happy you makes those around you happier. And if you experience a really bad day, do something nice for someone else – it’ll make you feel better.
It’s not about what we talk about but WHAT WE DO!