Let’s expand the space around our wagon. We need community. We are dependent on one another. Not just the people in our small circle, a world community. Without it we all suffer. Where is our sense of self without community?
Is it ironic that in the last few days everything I have read that touched me has been about turning out from myself to community. Is it not enough that I work “for” capacity building by raising resources. I bring time, talent, influence, leverage and money to the table to build community. I too, am guilty of not practicing patience and tolerance for those who don’t share my ideals.
First was Richard Harwood’s blog on his comments on the state of the union:
“We must turn outward. So much of what is happening these days is driven by an inward pull among individuals, within organizations and communities, and across our nation. But the challenges we face – and our deep desire to act on our aspirations – cannot be met by people going it alone. Nor can they be solved through retreat or reaction in attempts to protect our narrow interests. Rather, so many of the challenges we confront can only be effectively addressed by people taking action together. For that to occur, we must change our very orientation, our posture, our stance and turn outward toward our communities and one another. This won’t cost us a dime, but it will pay huge dividends. We must re-engage and reconnect.”
From Thomas Moore in Spirituality & Health Jan-Feb 2011
“Ethics is rooted in a love of people. and appreciation for unfamiliar cultures, and a desire to create community out of the large number of people on the planet… the ultimate challenge of community, taught clearly by Jesus and the Buddha, is to expand your deep feelings of community from those in your circle to those still outside it. Eventually, one hopes , no one will be outside.”
So maybe we need to stop circling the wagons around ourselves and those like us and act as part of the larger world community to better serve the greater good. We can create a better world, and can rest assured that help will be there for us as well…..we can live every day, free from fear and worry that allows us to receive and share the protection and support of community life.
So today let’s let a perceived enemy hitch their wagon to our circle and get to know them. Let’s look outward.
From Elizabeth Lesser’s TED talk “invite the other to lunch” and just listen to them with out judgement. Just hold the space. With a little dose of humility and wonder we might find their idea of community is very similar to ours.