Much has been written about and spoken of this word COMMUNITY. Everybody wants it, but very few people find it. If my assumptions are correct, and the general sociology of the American West today is plagued by a deep seeded loneliness; then of course…EVERYBODY wants someone they can count on.
Go to any collegiate meeting of the mind, and you’re going to find people clambering over “their” community. They’ll talk about the friends they have, and the close ties that bind them together. Maybe they are roommates, maybe their classmates, but one thing is for certain; something caused this relationship to go beyond the normal day-to-day contact to something deeper.
So what makes community?
How do we surround ourselves with friends that make up community?
And how can we test to see if our community is one that will stand the test of pressure and life?
Community is a Give and Take Relationship
Much of the time, I find people who want to “take” from community for their own security, but rarely are communities designed where Giving is the central focus. I know this sounds strange, and may be a bit remedial, but you can’t develop community when everyone is taking for their own needs.
Community is a dynamic relationship of giving and taking. There’s a rhythm of life we all go through when some need, and others have. Giving and taking develop strong ties of trust, but everyone knows about that guy or that girl who enters a community and wants all the focus on them. It never works out.
Community is all about meeting the needs of others. Some days you’ll have needs, and other days it will be someone else.
In order to develop community, you have to start with giving FIRST!!
Community is about Commitment
Today the buzzword of community is jux opposed to this idea of commitment. Everybody wants people to be in their corner, but when it comes down to actually participating in an event, a gathering, or some sort of forum; commitment goes out the window. “I’ll just have to see…” some will say. “I’m over committed at the moment” another will pipe up.
But in reality, we have a strong desire to make sure our lives are full of the most opportune moments. We struggle to commit to things long-term in case we are presented with a better option. If you live like this, your community is going to be weak.
It’s not a criticism. It’s just a reality.
Community is built on the bonds of giving, trust, and reliance. If you can’t commit, or find it a struggle to commit, you’re going to be living with a group of people in the grey-ness of life. They’ll always wonder if they can count on you, and you’ll always wonder if you can count on them.
Community is about finding those places where you know beyond a shadow of a doubt, there is someone who will be there NO MATTER WHAT!!
Community is about Forgiveness
Every community will struggle through fights and disagreements. After all, we’re all human, right? So what happens when we have a moment of disagreement, and nobody is willing to bend. It’s like that train wreck collision of steel when two egos are unable to find common ground.
But if you want a strong community, Forgiveness has to be on the tip of your tongue at all times.
To forgive is a powerful bond of trust we all need to learn. And when it’s time to develop those communal things; let your world be full of forgiveness, and free from the harboring of bitterness .
May you be blessed today with an unbelievable community.
I know I’ve been given a wonderful group of people who are loving me, reaching out to me, and giving me that sense of belonging. And I’m SUPER THANKFUL!!