To begin, since a variety of distinct races and cultures reside alongside one another within Tucson, fostering an atmosphere of belonging is essential for building a sense of community. One of the class readings that made this concept especially clear was an excerpt from Enrique Salmón’s novel Eating the Landscape. Within his work, Salmón shares many of the significant memories and lessons from his childhood that shaped his cultural identity. He writes, “The knowledge I learned from my family was one aspect of a trove of culturally accumulated ecological knowledge… Through this way of knowing, I realized a comfort and a sense of security that I was bound to everything around me in a reciprocal relationship” (Salmón 2). Through this passage, Sa...
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... can be different for virtually everyone, but for me as I have sought to integrate myself into Tucson’s community, it is a direct result of forming a relationship with everything that I am surrounded by. A sense of community is one of belonging and instead of encouraging conformity, a community celebrates the diversity and talents of all of its members. It is a feeling that is fueled by engaging with neighbors and appreciating the contribution that each member brings to creating a secure and comfortable place to live. By developing an awareness of the history, present, and future of a specific place, a greater sense of personal meaning can fuel a stronger connection to that physical location. All of these elements when fueled by emotional connection, serve as the underlying foundation and driving force that make a community such a special thing of which to be a part.
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