by Becky Morris
A commentator on my favorite radio stations recently made the statement “We are designed to live in community”. I found a napkin in my car and wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget it. The statement had an affect on me; I wasn’t sure what it was at the time.
This weekend I was reading the book The Shack by William P. Young and, again, there was a line in the book that reads “You are designed to be in community”. Why was it I kept hearing this line and why did it resonate with me? In the book, the line comes from God – so I figured that was worth exploring a bit further!
Anyone who has taken a business or psychology course has heard of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, in which “love and belonging” is at the third level of his hierarchical pyramid. So what does this mean? Why do we have such a need to belong? Why do we want to be loved? Why do we need community? Better yet, what is community?
Merriam-Webster defines community as:
1: a unified body of individuals: as a: state, commonwealth; b: the people with common interests living in a particular area ; broadly : the area itself community; c: an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location; d: a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society (a community of retired persons); e: a group linked by a common policy; f: a body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic, and political interests community; g: a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society community
2: society at large
3 a: joint ownership or participation (community of goods); b: common character : likeness (community of interests) c: social activity : fellowship; d: a social state or condition
With this definition in mind, community could be a sports team, a workplace, a church body, a family, or anything you are part of with other individuals with common interests. What is your favorite community? What characteristics of this community help make it your favorite? What do YOU personally bring to this community that makes it special?
Now think of your least favorite community. What if you intentionally and consistently brought more of those same personal traits to this community? Would that make it better? What could you do to improve and affect this least favorite community? Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?
Let’s suppose your workplace is your least favorite community. How might it be different if you became the Chief Catalyst for making it better? (What if your workplace is your favorite community? What does that say about the work you need to do on the rest of your life?)
We all possess the ability to be part of the solution in our communities. It is a matter of choice. It requires important decisions at The Intersection of Purpose and Now.