Many of us heard the word "responsibility" in a negative way as we were growing up. It was usually connected to a whole list of things we felt forced to do. We may have developed a negative reaction to the word because the list was so long – homework, chores, work, being nice, saying "thank you," "I’m sorry," etc. Here’s an opportunity to discover a new attitude about the word responsibility: take the word and break it into two main parts – response-ability. Imagine having the ability to respond appropriately to what is in front of us. That is all there is to it. Simple, but not always easy! Awareness helps us feel our connection with our community. It also helps us take respond-ability INTO our community. To respond to what’s in front of us, we need to be clear and present, without mental and emotional baggage weighing us down. Experiencing this kind of alert, spontaneous clarity happens as we cultivate awareness. With practice, we see something needs doing and we respond. If volunteers are needed, we see what we can do. There’s often no set amount of volunteer time being asked for by many organizations that need help. Doing what we can is enough. Asking, "How can I help?" is an active, direct way to respond in times of need. Offering help is the way to go beyond the concept of community to experience it directly. Living with awareness is always a gift to yourself and others.