Read Paul Born's latest book:
Read Paul Born's latest book:
I am slowly coming to realize the value that the communities have in shaping who you are. I have been aware of the value communities have played in shaping me through my childhood and adolescence. For some reason though I really didn't think to much about how the communities I am apart of are shaping me now. I think sometimes I forget that I am still learning and growing, often times through experiences and people outside of myself and outside of my control. So I have decided to be more intentional in the communities I take part in. The key here is communities. In today’s world, rarely are we apart of just one community anymore. Personally i think this is a good, thing. It opens our eyes up to different views and perspectives, and helps us gather a bigger and deeper understanding of the world we are part of.
The challenge then is what type of communities to be part of. I want to be part of communities that push me to be better; that resonate and reaffirm my values; that provide that stability and support during tough times. These are also the people who foster and support my big dreams and ideas (because I am an ideas person). They are the people I feel most comfortable and at home with.
In todays world it is becoming easier and easier to find people who think the same as us, with the internet these groups are now global, bringing people with similar minds together from all over the world (this online community is a great example). The danger however, is when this becomes the only community we associate with. Before online communities became commonplace, we were forced to have some differences within our community purely due to the diversity that naturally exists around us. Now this is no longer the case as our communities move online. And after all it makes sense that we are gravitated to people who are like us, we feel most comfortable around these people. The danger is when this comes at the cost of diversity. When we only experience one perspective we lose sight of the others. This narrow view leads to extremism.
This is why I feel it is important to also have communities that challenge us. People that we have some things in common (ex. sports) but also have differences. For me this is a group of friends who are interested in hockey, like me, but whose background is in business. We push each other. I challenge them on the capitalist assumption of infinite growth and they challenge me to view corporations in a new light. We are uncomfortable being challenged but it forces us to grow and learn. If you can find people who challenge you push your assumption but who also at the end of the day you can go have a beer (or in my case root beer) and laugh with while watch the game, then that’s pure golden.
So moving forward I am going to be more intentional both in surrounding myself with people who like me want to change the world, but also to find those people who question my views on how the world should change and even more importantly challenge me on why the world should change in the first place.