Welcome to 2022! It has been a rough couple of years, but hope springs eternal, and we’re looking forward to a new year with new adventures and relationships. That’s why our 2022 word of the year is Community.

Human beings are social beings, and isolation can wear away on your physical, mental and emotional health. Plugging into a thriving community like Greenfield means you’re part of something bigger than yourself, and you have support systems to grab onto when you’re feeling low.

Check out some of the other benefits of being part of a community:

Community: A connection to others

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.” – Herman Melville

When he wasn’t writing about big fish, Mr. Melville shared other deep thoughts. Even if we are living on our own, we have invisible connections to other people, whether they’re part of the tax base that pays for local fire and police departments or they’re the people in line at the grocery store who strike up a conversation. Being part of a community strengthens our connections, allowing people to become acquainted with the lives that brush up against their own. 

Better physical and mental health

There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert and valuing your solitude, but we all need other people in our lives occasionally. When you’re part of a community like Greenfield, you might start noticing familiar faces on your daily walks or trips to the coffee shop. A visit to the Hancock County Library can introduce you to new friends and new ideas, and our local Hancock Wellness Center has three convenient locations that will help you stick to your resolutions. 

Strength in numbers

Have you wanted to make a difference but felt your solo voice would never be heard? A community offers a chance to team up with others who share your passions. Want to feed the hungry? The Hancock County Food Pantry and the Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup Kitchen need volunteers to help prepare meals. Do you love our furry friends? The Hancock County Humane Society lets you make a difference in the lives of animals.   

A diverse perspective

It’s not healthy to live in an echo chamber, where you’re surrounded by voices and opinions that sound eerily similar to your own. A community exposes you to different people and new voices. Perhaps they are from a different culture or they support a different political party. Your community offers the first step to a common ground, where we can discover our shared humanity.

What’s your word for 2022? Pick something that inspires you and will light your way throughout the year. Want to literally light your world with your word? Consider having it printed on a Word of the Year candle by local Abboo Candle Co, which is teaming up with local company Imy’s Joy to create these unique gifts. Of course, you’re always welcome to share “Community” as your word of the year. There are plenty of ways to become involved in your Greenfield community. We have a lot of living to do this year. Let’s ensure that we are thriving and growing together.