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