06 JAN 2012
Bridging and Bonding
The greatness of any organization or community is dependent upon the group’s ability to collect, accept and utilize inputs from a variety of source. In a small community consideration of all interested parties insures the participation and support when changes are needed. This unity of diverse groups whether social, ethnic or cultural for the good of a community is call bridging. Utilizing information gather from multiple sources within and outside the community can prove to be vital; opening doors to opportunities which otherwise could have been missed. According to “Rural Communities, Legacy and Change”, building bridges in a community required four branches to prevent division within its infrastructure (127). The first is to build horizontally; this step allows groups to learn from each other. Why reinvent the wheel? It is more beneficial to learn from others mistakes than to waste time, energy and resources on the trial and error process. The second vital branch is to build vertically; this strategy of networking reaches regional, state and federal resources. The strength of this branch can only be fully developed when multiple groups, city planning committee members and city officials attend seminars and regional meetings; this strategy will provide different points of view on the same topic and reveal alternatives to stagnated debates. Thirdly, flexibility within a community group is a vital branch that prevents burnout and stagnation from hindering the creativity. Limiting the term served by board members or committee leaders will ensure the addition of new members as well. Pruning branches is very beneficial to the growth and development of the community tree. The fourth branch to develop is setting permeable or penetrable boundaries that expand as the community forms new partnerships.
Bonding is a much more controlled form of community growth; it is...