What does community mean to you? When you think about the idea of community, does anxiety or fear grip your insides? Families are our communities when we are young. Perhaps we had multiple variations of family as we grew up. Changing landscapes, divergent waters.
Throughout life, many systems combine to create our experiences -- emotional, physical, spiritual, work, neighborhood, city, state, nation, continent, world. These are all independent of and yet also connected with each other.
The simultaneous interplay and independence means we are never alone in this place and yet also always alone. Our inner voices guide our thoughts and actions. They are our internal community. Perhaps we grew with many changing players in our lives and so the voices are many. It could be that we spent many days alone and developed inner critique powerful enough to decisively annihilate any effort against it.
The possible variations are many. We are a creative and frequently self-absorbed set of animals, we humans. We find many ways to act in our own best interests at the expense of other animals and the environment. It's grisly and horrifying, and sometimes I think I'm among the worst if I use a paper towel instead of a sponge when I clean a countertop. Perhaps it's best that we hold some form of humility about our human presence. Maybe stopping to really consider using a paper towel is actually ok and a good thing sometimes. On the whole, we need people who think deeply and thoroughly. We need folks who will be vocal about weaknesses, concerns, strengths, and joys. Our communities are empowered when we value ourselves, our quirks and frustrations, and the ways in which we learn to exist. When we love our inner voices, know our weaknesses and work with them, and practice our own boundaries, we are real and true. Powerful communities and systems recognize what they lack, adjust with balance, and keep going toward unity.
Well hello there.