I have been pondering the idea of community and its importance to our success as a race for some years; it often feels as though I am the only one since the current altar that we are encouraged to worship at would be the Self. The idea of Community has eroded in our capitalistic search for Self-improvement, Self-promotion, and success for Self.
I began formulating my idea of community as I became a part of the work community and found my family and neighborhood community dissolved by divorce. Community is the larger group to which you belong, where you can derive your sense of belonging and purpose within the world. It is, after your immediate family, the next level up from where you can perceive the world as a whole. Most people, even strongly introverted ones belong to several communities no matter how tenuously.
Stephen Covey uses the importance in the maturity spectrum in his bestseller The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People which has revived my own thoughts on community as I’ve read it recently. Community is simply another way to define interdependence. But I like the word community better because it is friendlier and less academic.
We humans are often a part of many intersecting communities, extended family, work mates, neighborhood/fellow parents, spiritual, school, and of course friends. The intersections between these various communities can be deep, or can be based solely on our own self.
It is somewhat ironic for me that I have been made aware of the import of community as I have struggled to find myself a new place in a new community. Slowly, I have been woven to the outskirts of many community options and must now find a means to rectify this situation. Now that my boys are grown, I realized that I no longer have readily available volunteer opportunities. I am also currently a free agent, selling my brand on the job market.
Community is often depicted in media with an intensity of a close knit group often not practical in this fast paced world, i.e. the old TV show Friends. In the work environment the word Team is in vogue. If the word Networking is substituted, it is discussed endlessly as good advice for job seekers. If you are in crisis, it is the group of people who will hopefully come running in to provide assistance and comfort.
Thomas Merton said No Man is an Island, in my case woman. Things in your life will shift, but it just gives you an opportunity to re-examine them.
© 2012 Practical Business | Reasonable Expectations