“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot


Dalai Lama

Humans need relationships.  Whether this is one with your family and/or friends, we cannot exist without them.  We all need a community or village, to survive.

This was reinforced yesterday when I attended a community meeting within a retirement village.  After the meeting, we had a morning tea and the residents all sat around and supported each other. 

It reminded me of my neighbourhood where I grew up.  This was no ordinary neighbourhood; many were also siblings and had chosen to live there with their families.  As one of the non-related neighbours, our family also enjoyed the village that they created.  Many of the cousins were the same age, and this worked out well for my older brother and myself as we joined the group and played often together.  We, well most certainly me – was often at each other’s homes and activities.  I still call the parents Aunty and Uncle and they were/are the family that I dreamt of often.

When my father become unwell and was hospitalised for some time, the village wrapped their arms around us and supported us all during this time.  I later found out, through one of the older kids at the time – that the village were also discussing options, should dad not pull through.  As a seven-year-old, I was outside playing and not aware of the severity of his illness.  The then fifteen-year-old was hanging around the parents table and overheard several discussions.  It must have been a worrying time for those who were aware of this at the time.

Over the years, I have been fortunate to duplicate this a few times within our neighbourhood.  When we moved into our current home, our neighbours were very supportive and became family to us.  One neighbour gave me cooking lessons, which served us well.  My meatballs were very similar to others at the soccer club, which is a fantastic achievement for not having an Italian background.  The others provided support to us in different ways.  Sadly, due to age – the neighbourhood has changed slightly, however, there is still an element of interactions in different ways.