The New Year is upon us! Happy New Years. As the old year ends and a new one is about to begin, we look back. I like to re-read journal entries to see what kinds of understandings I can gain from a view that has hindsight. We saw friends lose housing and jobs. We saw friends move away and loved ones pass on to a new reality. Were we given signs that these transitions were about to occur? When it happens, we are surprised but there were signs. There are always signs.
If your job were to end tomorrow what would you miss most?
- The money?
- The security?
- The day to day feeling of purpose a job gives you?
- The ability to care for your family?
If your relationship with a friend or significant other were to end tomorrow what would you miss?
- The closeness?
- The understanding that someone has your back?
- The belief that you are known by someone on this earth?
- The love?
- The support?
What about our communities?
Why do we cherish our Communities?
If your community were to end tomorrow what would you miss? Think about it. Why are our communities so powerful in our lives ….these tenuous connections with other humans? Is the connection only about a place or action? Or does our community hold common values…. Common meanings … shared experiences? Are we only connected by physical environment? Or do the common values transcend physical environment? What if when they do transcend the physical… would the community grow.
Growing a community is probably the hardest challenge in life. Usually communities don’t just end, they tend to slowly die because of the great challenge growing a community entails. But if it did end tomorrow, what would you miss? What is it about the rhythms of a community that bring so much meaning to our lives that we hold on to them so tightly? Can we name what we cherish?
Friendship Belonging Usefulness Comfort Challenge Familiarity
What do you cherish in the communities you belong to ? Leave a comment below even if it is just one word, one thought, one person. Celebrate the community you belong to today and name that which keeps you going back even when “life demands” try to keep you away. Name what keeps us holding on no matter what.
If you are interested in looking more deeply at community.
I recommend HenriNouwen.org