Community what is it?
It is all about me at least this is what the media would like us to believe. It is all about getting more, having more, keeping up and moving up. All well and good until you stop, lose a job, a partner, a friend, a house and so forth. Then it is all about who is there for me? Because although society thrusts the notion of perfection upon us no one wants to walk a tough road alone. Your community may be as small as family friends and co-workers or as big as neighborhoods co-operatives or nations. It doesn’t matter how big or small all communities have to figure out how to function interdependently in order to meet the needs and wants of the individual and the group.
Community is in part like family it is a place to find a sense of belonging on the flip side like it can also possess the same dysfunctional dynamics as a some families do. Two of these being don’t speak about it and don’t acknowledge it. It is not uncommon for a culture to develop within a community where closed dialogue prevents people speaking up and shuts off all lines of communication. When this happens people also tend to have an attitude of if I don’t acknowledge it I won’t have to deal with it. These are difficult things to overcome firstly because people become defensive and lose the ability to see any other position than their own and secondly creating change requires a commitment and we tend to stand back waiting for someone else to be the solution.
We are all part of some form of community whether it be work family or society. We depend on others whether we can see it or not and they in turn depend on us. The ‘I don’t need anybody’ is false bravado everybody needs someone. Community can be the place you find a sense of belonging, a sense of hope or purpose. When you fall there will be many hands there to help you up, when you need to be heard there will be someone there to listen, when you need an encouraging word a welcoming smile a place to simply be you your community will be there.
And you get to have the immense joy of being there for others you get to share your knowledge your passions your love and kindness. It is a two way street of giving and receiving. What is community? For me it is stepping into family stepping into my humanity and walking together towards a world of kindness peace and harmony. Forgive me if that sounds like some kind of old Beach Boys song. Marianne Williamson said “in every community there is work to be done and in every heart is the power to do it.” You can make a difference in your community because you are very much part of a bigger picture.