“What a Curious Power Words Have”

-Tadeusz Borowski

So much work has been done in the past two years to make our Community Centre more modern, welcoming, cleaner and more energy efficient. Walk in, it’s recently scrubbed, the walls have been freshly painted and the lighting is bright and contemporary. Some people notice, some people even offer their thanks, but most people just walk on by without giving such things a second glance. Only one thing we’ve recently done makes a consistent impact with most of the people who walk in.

Enter our Community Centre lobby and the first thing you’ll see is our big white board detailing each day’s scheduled events. About 2 years ago we started adding to that board a quote, saying or proverb to go with each new day. How did it start? And why did we do it? None of us can even remember, maybe we needed a lift that day, or a laugh, or a little inspiration. Whatever the original motivation the idea immediately stuck! Now when our users, members and visitors enter the building it’s often the first thing they look for and often comment on. Some even send us their favourite quotes to add to our little stockpile!

The idea has stretched itself into many things we do, quotes turn up at our meetings, in our communications and you’ve seen lots of them here in our ongoing blogs too!

Why is such a little thing such a big deal that everyone wants to comment on it? Well, it breaks the ice, walking in to talk to one of our staff members you’ll get an idea of the kind of day we’re having by the quote we chose. Solitary parents waiting for soccer or gymnastics to let out have a way to start a conversation, and maybe, just maybe you’ll read that quote and get just what you needed. A little motivation, strength, comfort or an all important moment of internal laughter!

A Community Centre is the heart of a neighbourhood, full of laughter, celebration, ideas and discussions. It’s a welcoming place for the young, the old and all of us wedged in the middle. A place that will lift you up while you’re here, by way of a good work out, a little learning, merriment, bonding with friends or a good laugh. By those standards our daily quotes fit right in, providing inspiration, motivation and a way to start a conversation with a potential new friend. We don’t spot or speak to everyone who walks into the Centre each day, but by always having a quote up in the lobby we ensure that everyone knows that we want to communicate with them, to lift them up or make them think. A little gesture to make sure everyone knows they are welcome… a bigger impact than we ever imagined.

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”

-Robin Williams