As the holiday season nears, an interesting phenomenon occurs. Generosity becomes more common, differences are settled and people are generally more friendly. Good will shouldn’t be exclusive to one day in the year though, so the Calgary Journal took to the streets with one question, “In a time of division, what are ways to build community and togetherness?”

 Photo by Andrea Wong.

Jessie MacKenzie (left)

“Some of us live in a very individualistic society, therefore we need to re-evaluate our ethics — make sure those ethics are aligned with being generous and compassionate all year long.”

Shirley Conrad (right)

“Going forward it’s so important that we do our best every day and be kind and respectful to others and just know there’s always somebody out there that is not doing as well and having a bad day. To share peace and love each day, that’s what I think about often and try to carry out in my daily life.”

Photo by Andrea Wong.

Chris Peters

“Just letting people be who they are is what we all need to do, and stop worrying about everyone else and what they’re doing and just be more concerned about how we’re treating everyone else. Looking personally, inwardly, before we start telling anyone else how they should be.”

Photo by Andrea Wong.

Larissa Amour

“I study theology, and I realized a common ground that a lot of different religions have is gathering around a meal. That’s a huge tradition and a big thing in different cultures. I feel like cross-cultural meal gatherings and opening up celebrations other people is really helpful.”

Photo by Andrea Wong.

Tom Yeoman

“Communication is the biggest thing. The more we understand each other and what each other is thinking, that would be towards building peace.

We’re very isolated from each other, and we tend to work within our own groups. As far as finding out what other people think, it takes a lot of work.”

Photo by Andrea Wong.

Angel Sansregrett

“We can cultivate togetherness by inviting those who we don’t really talk to but we see around, because you never know if people are having a hard time … Opening communication with those around us, asking what they need and how we can be a help in their lives.”

Photo by Andrea Wong.

Elicia Bravo

“I think everyone has their own niche of what they like to do. I’m very into the music scene in Calgary, so I think everyone has their little places to retreat where they find their community and their friends, and they don’t feel divided. They feel a sense of how everyone gets along, everyone has a common interest. So I think you just have to find your spot.”

Photo by Andrea Wong.

Darcy White

“I think being open to other people and acceptance is probably the best way … Interacting with people outside of your own cultural groups.”

Photo by Andrea Wong.

Tegan Storer

“I’m guessing technology has something to do with being divided. People spend so much time on their phones, by the time it’s time to go out, nobody really wants to. They feel like they’ve already seen it all. Through community events, people can come together and interact with one another.”

Photo by Andrea Wong.

Sair Saleh

“More cooperation and working together … You have to have a common goal, especially in regards to developing a community or an area or helping someone certain people in need. That’s a good objective, and that’s where people can get together and help more and more.”

Editors: Nathan Kunz & Colin Macgillivray | nkunz@cjournal.ca & cmacgillivray@cjournal.ca