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Article Specs

Article ID: 15657

VoxAcct: 285454

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 1,877

Times Read: 2,247

RSS Views: 10,552
True Meaning of Community

Author: Rev. Lynne
Posted: March 30th. 2014
Times Viewed: 2,247

Spending the Spring Equinox at Serpent Mound yesterday with “family” really sent me off on a train of thought about the true meaning of community. The last 10 years sent me on a search to find the meaning of community. That search alone has sent me down many roads, many joys and a few disappointments. It has taught me painful lessons about true leaders and not putting people on pedestals.

It has shown me how “shining stars” are the fastest to fade…they burn white hot and “wow” the masses for a short while, then just as quickly, they burn out and fall by the wayside. But mostly it has taught me that community is much like a family … dysfunctional at times but always there for each other when times get tough. Often this family involves people at various locations, just like a nuclear family. Sometimes we won’t see each other for months or years, but when we finally come together there is no doubt that there is a bond there that time and distance cannot diminish. We may all walk different paths but have no trouble finding enough common belief in each other that all the dissimilar thoughts and beliefs become the glue that holds us together.

True community is about fostering a spirit of love and sharing. When each of the members of that community begin to realize it is about coming together in the spirit of giving and sharing, not just receiving, that is when something wonderful begins to happen. This isn’t something that usually happens instantly. Those seeking community often come with only a need to receive. Many come feeling they have nothing to give because they have lost their sense of self, their confidence in self. Some are so new on their path of self discovery that they are still learning the lessons set before them and aren’t ready to share until they have started putting the pieces of their own puzzle together. And that is perfectly all right. As they get more involved, as they come to listen to the stories shared in a sacred circle and take the bits and pieces that help complete their puzzle they become stronger and begin to share their wisdom, they give their compassion and unconditional love.

From time to time there will be those who come only to tell others how much they know – (whether they actually do or not) and criticize or belittle those who are still in the learning and growing stages of their life lessons. Then there are others who come only sporadically. Those who are so sure they know everything there is to know that they don’t need to be a regular part of the community. Very often they do have vast amounts of knowledge, but take it with them and don’t bring that knowledge to the circles. They don’t see how that is wasted knowledge and does nothing to help strengthen the community or themselves. Community is about sharing…whatever it is of value that we have. Experience, wisdom, knowledge, resources, skills, …all these things contain the gemstones that become the building blocks of a strong, vital community. If they are not brought together…not placed as an offering on the sharing blanket, they serve no value…to anyone.

Community is about love…given and received. Just like our blood families, we are going to have disagreements, we are going to have personality clashes, we are going to have different political and spiritual or religious beliefs that put us at odds with each other…and that is okay; that is how it should be…we are individuals, we are each unique and wonderful. We need to see those differences as healthy opportunities to use both sides of the brain. We need to use them as a lesson in exercising diplomacy, in practicing respect. We don’t have to always agree with each other … just imagine what a boring world that would be if everyone saw everything in the same light, if there were no differences of opinion or belief. We would not survive as a species if that were the reality we lived in! What we do not need to do is go to war over them. We do not need to create conflicts and engage in verbal attacks that serve no purpose other than to harm or tear down.

Respect the diversity…celebrates the differences.

Community represents a collective desire for something better. A desire for unity and harmony. Community is about coming together to build something that serves a higher purpose for all, not just for ourselves. Community is about coming together to carry on the legacies and the stories so that future generations will know their histories and carry them forward to their own communities. Communities bring together the children to sit at the feet of the grandmothers and learn the true meaning of the Great Spiral of life. It is where Mothers share the responsibility of raising children with hearts, eyes and minds open to all possibilities and realities. Community is a circle where the fathers protect and provide and share in the rearing of their progeny. Where mothers teach their sons to plant and forage and nurture and fathers teach their daughters to hunt and to fight when there is a real threat.

And communities do not put up walls to keep the wandering stranger out, but instead have open doors where the stranger, even the aggressor is invited in to share a meal, given a bed to rest his body weary from traveling or fighting. This is a tough lesson for many to learn, but one that is very much needed if we are to ever heal the world we live in.

Our communities need to reach out, like spokes on a wheel or strands in a web. We can no longer be isolated and cut off. We need to connect with other communities who support healing and harmony. We need to bring the women’s circles together to teach our daughters and granddaughters. We need to bring men together in circles of sharing and teaching…we need to bring back the Rites of Passage to celebrate the births, coming of age, parenting and elderhood. We need to come together to share the songs and the stories, the histories and the dreams. We need to come together to share the most common element we share. Life. There is nothing stronger in this world than life shared with a common goal.


Rev. Lynne

Location: Chillicothe, Ohio


Author's Profile: To learn more about Rev. Lynne - Click HERE

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