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Monday, November 9, 2009

Community week begins!

COMMUNITY - Sharing, participation, and fellowship.

I spent this morning and early afternoon hanging with one of my favorite communities, the mommies of all of Jessie's friends. We have all known each other and have been meeting at the park for almost two years. I had a Meetup group for Mountain View Parents that had 400+ people in it by the time I gave the group up (because I was moving out of Mountain View) in October but I never felt all those people were my community. My smaller group of 7-10 mommies (depending on the outing) are my core group and even now that I no longer live in Mountain View they remain my community. Six of us see each other for rotating Friday play date lunches and this group plus a few more meet each week at the park. Our kids love each other and we take turns keeping each other sane as we navigate through toddlerhood. I really can't imagine what life would be without them and thankfully that is not a concern!

You will notice that I chose a pretty simple description of community.  Wikipedia has all this to offer:
In biological terms, a community is a group of interacting organisms sharing an environment. In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness. In sociology, the concept of community has caused infinite debate, and sociologists are yet to reach agreement on a definition of the term. There were ninety-four discrete definitions of the term by the mid-1950s. Traditionally a "community" has been defined as a group of interacting people living in a common location. The word is often used to refer to a group that is organized around common values and social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household. The word can also refer to the national community or global community.
Since the advent of the Internet, the concept of community no longer has geographical limitations, as people can now virtually gather in an online community and share common interests regardless of physical location. 


Whew! There are so many nuances yet at the heart it seems pretty uncomplicated. Some type of common interest and in this day a computer are all that is needed for kindred spirits to find each other... spend a little time and voila you are a community!  During my Integral Inquiry I found this integral map of a community on the BC Healthy Communities website.



Having just immersed myself in integral thought I've decided it is the perfect approach for my study of community. I am going to formulate one bliss initiative in each of the four quadrants!

Next Post: Community Bliss Initiatives!

My 13 bliss virtues: joy, order, creativity, passion, whimsy, serenity, inquiry, community, romance, gratitude, moxie, humility, surprise  

2 comments:

  1. Hi Kathy,

    I'm glad that you & your mom friends are so tight and that you all have found one another through the MeetUp group you started.

    It may or may not be worth it to you to mention to them that whether intentionally or not, they have ostracized at least one other Mtn. View mom with a child the same age as theirs. More than once. For the record, you did speak to me on a separate occasion at Eagle Park, which I appreciate.

    Since the MeetUp group is closing, I don't imagine it matters, but I did leave a comment there this morning. My experience at my first (and only) 2 Monday morning coffee Meet Ups were extremely disappointing and it has been bothering me since late April. I never wrote to you before because I felt like I'm way too old to be letting my feelings get hurt by a gaggle of adult women. I know one can't be friends with everyone! A bitter but true life lesson I have learned along the way.

    Anyway, I enjoy your blog and will likely continue to follow it loosely. Thank you for sharing your insights. You have lovely things to say.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Janine,

    It made me terribly sad to read your comment and I am sorry that you did not have a good experience when joining the Meetup I organized. It was certainly NEVER the intention for anyone to feel ostracized and I am sorry that was your experience.

    It is interesting that you should let me know about this just as I am contemplating my relationship with community. On several occasions I considered closing my meetup group because too often the only people who attended our events were the 4 or 5 people I regularly associated with and we didn't need a meetup to plan a play date. But everytime I considered doing so someone would tell me that they appreciated the group and were so happy to know we were out there, even if they didn't regularly attend any meetups.

    I do remember talking to you at Eagle Park the one time but personally don't recall seeing you at any subsequent coffee meetups. I know I missed a couple of meetups shortly after we met and do remember wondering if I would see you again, and was hoping I would. Sometimes I had a lot going on and Jessie's running around sometimes make it difficult to focus on other things so it is quite possible I, very unintentionally, was not quite as welcoming or even present as I might like to be.

    I still go to Eagle Park on Mondays and would welcome the chance to say hello again.

    Thank you for reading my blog.

    Warmest regards,
    Kathy

    ReplyDelete

Thank you "very so much" (the construct I stole from my 3 year old!) for your comments! I reply to every comment. I will ALWAYS reply over here on the blog so if you haven't heard from directly please do check back here. If you become a Disqus member you will be automatically updated via email as well!

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Ben Franklin's 13 Virtues

  • 1. TEMPERANCE - Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  • 2. SILENCE - Speak not what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  • 3. ORDER - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  • 4. RESOLUTION - Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  • 5. FRUGALITY - Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e. waste nothing.
  • 6. INDUSTRY - Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  • 7. SINCERITY - Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and if you speak, speak accordingly.
  • 8. JUSTICE - Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  • 9. MODERATION - Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  • 10. CLEANLINESS - Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths or habitation.
  • 11. TRANQUILITY - Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  • 12. CHASTITY - Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or to the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
  • 13. HUMILITY - Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Benjamin Franklin Quotes

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