Community…reality or just a dream? or just a real dream? What is Community? How much Imagination does it take to be in Community.
How do you get there from here?
Who needs it?…What is it good for?
I’m a community guy, it’s what I do, it’s what I believe in… or maybe I’m just a recovering individualist… pretty tough for me to raise some ideas without teaching. As I think about community, I realize we are all a part of so many of them. Hundreds… thousands. Even now we are in religious community, neighborhood community, city, national, and global communities. We have our family, our friends, our co-workers, our fellow recreators.
Some of our communities are based on what we do, some on what we believe, some by what we eat, the music we listen to, or places we hang out… some that we have no choice to be in… are these communities? Can we qualify community? Can we say this is better than that one? It seems often how I rank them just goes back to how they serve me… back to the recovering individualist…
They’re always growing or changing. Should they? New people coming, regular people leaving… sometimes dying. Then there are those who have been there the longest. They often get to decide who comes and who goes. Some communities are open, some too open. Some are closed, but for good reasons. Communities are as diverse as those who are a part of them…
Yet, there are those who have come before us who say things like
The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.
If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.
— Mitsugi Saotome
This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as I live it is my privilege – my *privilege* to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I love. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me; it is a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got a hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
George Bernard Shaw
Irish dramatist & socialist (1856 – 1950)
Knucklehead in training