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Philosophy Tuesday

January 10, 2017

This is a philosophical statement.  It is intended to spark thinking and examining.

Community is a creation.

There is nothing automatic about community.  There is no critical mass where gathering enough bodies together causes a chain reaction and BOOM! community appears in a preordained way.  There is no community in the cosmos.  Communities are declared into existence.  Communities are a stating that “lo, here there will be community.”

From that great nothing, everything is shaped.

And it does not stop there.

Every minute, of every day, in every action and every reaction, we are continually creating and re-created our community(ies).  Community persists only through this continual renewal.  Who we are being and how we act every day in our lives forms a part of the creation called our community, in all of the communities we participate in:  our cities, our families, our workplaces, our friendship circles, our fandoms, our countries, our fellow commuters, the people in the elevator… all of our communities.

How we treat one another, what we value, how we nurture our tribe, how we regard others, and the results and outcomes and fallout of our daily lives all derive from that created community.

Here’s the thing… even without intention, we are still creating.

Many of our views and actions on community, and how we operate, how we interact, how we live, are inherited, uncritically, from those around us.  They come from what we’ve heard.   They come from what we’ve observed.  We read between the lines and make decisions.  We take it in and, like the good social animals we are, we mould ourselves to fit the context around us.

And so we know how the world works, we think/say, and we act accordingly.  Without even thinking about it.  And we recreate and reinforce that very same inherited world.

Even if it’s not the world we would want to create for ourselves.

Yet, if community is a creation, and it is being recreated all the time, and we are the actors of that creation… then something quite remarkable is possible.

It begins by taking direction of that creation.  It takes intent and action.  It takes a conscious effort.  It cannot be passive.  It takes engagement.  It takes wielding the extreme power given to us through these continual acts of creation.

We have a say.  We have a huge say over who we are, what ways of being we wish to nurture, and how we will act in our community(ies).  We have a say what community can be, through our speaking of “this is how it is”, through our leading by example, and through the vibes we give off.  Our creation becomes part of the context of others.

The great news about community being a creation, and always being created on a moment to moment basis, is that we’re already, largely, doing the work.  We’re even good at it.  We’ve been doing it for a long time.  Maybe we haven’t been aware of it, but we have been.

With intention, we can step up, reach out, engage broadly, and work to work to inspire and mold the types of communities that our central, authentic, selves truly want.

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