How do you define community? It seems to me the proverbial “village” it takes to raise each of us really isn’t a place anymore. Unless, of course, you want the homogenized version of America (no matter where you go you don’t know where you are because it all looks the same).
On a recent drive through large portions of small-town America, I thought about the village that’s raising me, and concluded that I actually belong to many different communities of people, and when I put all of those together – my personal village emerged.
Each of my communities serves a different, but no less important, role in my life, and the people comprising my communities play an active and valuable part in my personal journey. Here is my list:
My core community fascinates me a lot as I think about the people in that particular circle. They have migrated to the core from others of my communities as our relationships evolved until they have become an integral part of my life. I can’t function without them. Isn’t it amazing how important people are in your world? At least they are in mine. Have you ever wondered, “Why does the village even matter?” My friend Bea always said, “If God wanted us to figure it out alone, He would have put us on an island with a pad of paper and a pencil.”
As I made my way back home on that recent drive, I figured that the Norman Rockwell versions of our towns and their occupants are merely a relic. But surviving is the need we each inherently possess to connect with others – to share our stories and our journeys – and along the way, to find and create new communities that make up the villages of today.