You Are All My Community

Submitted by Kara Bonis on November 6, 2012 - 4:08pm
Choosing To Focus On Similarities

Sitting down with Derek, an old friend from school, to discuss community was almost a perfect example of what I would view as community. We ran into someone else who knew him and they also joined our discussion. This was a lunch of community in which connections and networks were made through mutual relations. Perhaps I will never have reason to contact Derek's friend but I have seen him since on campus and the possibility is there. He is now a part of my community. 

Community is a network of people for their mutual benefit. We all have unique talents in which we can use to help each other. One thing that is necessary for community is each person's perspective of a common group identity. It will change in different situations but I define my community based on similarities within a group of people.

My community is Canada because it's where I live. On a smaller geographic scale, my community is my neighbourhood. But community is not based soley on where I live. I have a community of students in my university program. We may not know each other by name but seeing them in class and then around campus, there is always the sense of belonging to a group. Outside my schooling, I have a group of friends which can come together as a smaller community based on similar interests and beliefs. My friend, Derek is a part of my community because we worked together. My view of who belongs in my community is whatever the similarity I base my community on.

The nice thing about this is that there will always be ways to include people in your community. If all else fails, we are all human and that is our similarity. Community can be broken when people chose to focus on their differences and allow those things to come between them. If everyone was viewed on some level of community, perhaps more could be accomplished because there would be no "us against them" because there would be no "them". Seeing others as different can alienate people from community and who knows what they might have contributed. Who am I to limit the benefit for others because I do not accept all into community? 

Could you host a conversation?

Hi Kara,

Thanks so much for sharing your insights on Community- now that you know the format of a disussion on community- would you be interested in hosting your own conversation? Perhaps, with a 5 or so classmates? Or, a small group from another one of your community contexts?

I feel like you would be great at hosting and reporting the thoughts of others!

Looking forward to hearing from you! :)