To create a world that works for all
We must create communities that work for all. We must become part of creating organizations, neighborhoods, cities and countries that works for all and collaborate with those who have the faith and the energy to create such a place.
Community is about the experience of belonging. We are in community each time we find a place where we belong. The word belong has two meanings. First and foremost, to belong is to be related to and a part of something. It is membership, the experience of being at home in the broadest sense of the phrase. It is the opposite of thinking that wherever I am, I would be better off somewhere else. Or that I am still forever wandering, looking for that place where I belong.
The opposite of belonging is to feel isolated and always (all ways) on the margin, an outsider. To belong is to know even in the middle of the night, that I am among friends. We should all set a goal to increase the amount of belonging or relatedness that exists in the world. Experiencing this kind of friendship, hospitality, conviviality is not easy or natural in the world we now live in.
The second meaning of the word belong has to do with being an owner. Something belongs to me. To belong to a community is to act as a creator and co-owner of that community. What I consider mine I will build and nature. The work, then, is to seek in our communities a wilder and deeper sense of emotional ownership, it means fostering among all of a communities citizens a sense of ownership and accountability.
Belonging can also be thought of as a longing to be. Being is our capacity to find our deeper purpose in all that we do. It is the capacity to be present and to discover our authenticity and whole-selves. This is often thought of as an individual capacity, but it is also a community capacity. Community is the container within which our longing to be is fulfilled. Without the connectedness of a community, we will continue to choose not to be.
Community offers the promise of belonging and calls for us to acknowledge our interdependence. To belong is to act as an investor, owner and creator of this place. To be welcome, even is we strangers. As if we came to the right place and are affirmed for that choice, playing our part to create a world that works for all.
Affirm: I am where I belong. Where I belong, I am. I nurture my community with love and I become all that I am to BE.
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