June 1, 2018

Bill Blalock



“We are constituted so that simple acts of kindness, such as giving to charity or expressing gratitude, have a positive effect on our long-term moods. The key to the happy life, it seems, is the good life: a life with sustained relationships, challenging work, and connections to community.” … Paul Bloom

We all want a good life, a happy life! Good intentions help us only when we act upon them. Healthy relationships are primary source for a positive life experience.


Relationships are not necessarily friends on Facebook, members of a social, religious or political group. Most are mere “acquaintances.”   Friends require an investment of your time and sincere desire to spend time within them. You cherish each time you get together. True friends usually reciprocate when you invite them to an event or simply to your home for a meal. They just naturally extend the same invitation. They stay connected. There are never any expectations on either party in the relationship. This is what we call “sustained relationships.” They are maintained and nurtured over time. It is only when we have sustained relationships that we are truly connected to others.

We are also connected to shared causes and values through our participation in groups within our community – social, religious, cultural and political organizations. Such connections are healthy to the extent that they add value to the quality of our lives as a community. Some sustained personal relationships may be developed through our connections within our community or within our work environment as well.


Community building occurs one-to-one. You need to build relationships with people one-to-one if you want them to become involved in your group or organization. Some people become involved in organizations because they believe in the cause. However, many people become involved in a community group or organization, just because they have a relationship with another person who is already involved.

We need relationships to win allies to our cause. To get support from people outside our organizations, we need to build relationships in which people know and trust us.

Our relationships give meaning and richness to our work and to our lives. We all need a community of people to share the joys and the struggles of organizing and making community change. A little bit of camaraderie goes a long way.