Engage In The Community To Grow
Communities are not built around needs. They are built around shared values, shared goals and most importantly shared passion. The word ‘community’ itself implies collective effort and communication. A SHEROES member wrote in, “Why do I feel SHEROES Community is not so active?’’ and we were amazed. Can it be that our community does not feel the same passion or level of engagement? Do they even engage? Is it just a platform for satisfying communities requirements or do they share any learnings and perspectives with others?
Why do we need a Community?
Ultimately life is an unending circle of give and take. Giving enriches us and prepares us to take at the next level. It helps us grow and it is within such mutual growth that the seeds of community progress are sown. A thriving community is like a beehive - a collective effort that yields a ton of honey that nourishes all. This is made possible only through processes such as communication, inter-group relations and networking. As human beings, we need a sense of belonging and that is what connects us to the many relationships we develop. It is where we find comfort in difficult situations. For me, the community is where one finds the balance between physical and mental fitness. I derive my strength from the many communities that I am a part of. The constant movement between these various communities not only enables me to carry diverse messages across but also helps refine my sense of self through the dynamic interaction.
What Can A Community Do?
Since we are all members of many communities and carry diverse messages, we create synergies and harmonize different opinions. I know of the activities of AFWWA through my colleagues and they know of SGI through me. Communities are rich in resources and that is where their collective aspect comes into play. It helps to amplify an opinion. As we saw in the case of the Massroots movement, it can effect social and legal change. Most people rely on a community for practical purposes. It is the ‘’web of mutuality ‘’ that Martin Luther King Jr talked about. Something that when shared helps individuals feel greater power and live with more independence. At the same time, a community saves us from isolation and alienation. It puts some order in the fragmented world. It is a safe place to come to. The gift of community is that it offers each of us the fire of affirmation and support to achieve our primary purpose, even on days when we feel no fire.
What We Need to Watch Out For?
There can be something potentially dangerous about communities as well. A safe comfortable and trusting place can become a comfort zone. A place where you can get served up with what you need and become ineffectual and stop taking initiative. That is made more difficult by the fact that people feel disconnected from their community and feel little responsibility for it. Engagement is a two way street and leads to greater trust and better outcomes. Simply put - talk, write in, reach out to help other community members, encourage them, respond to them and share your stories with us here.
In the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, “I ask all of you to hold up your hands and tell me the truth. Do you believe, as I do that someone in our hamlet is keeping the fire alive?’’
That someone is each of us, dear trusted Community Members