The question, in my mind, moves beyond why we need community
to how we go about building and sustaining it.
While dichotomies can be simplistic, they can also help frame a conversation. When you seek a community, toward which end of the scale do you feel more welcomed and able to flourish? Which of the following have a better chance to build respectful, inclusive, nurturing, and resilient networks?
- Sharing visions or sharing your vision?
- Sharing decision making or sharing your decision?
- Authentic questioning or leading questioning?
- Dialogue or monologue?
- Conversation or collective monologue?
- Informed debate or ideological diatribe?
- Compassion or comparatory suffering?
- Respect or denigration?
- Lessons or excuses?
- Risk-taking or fear-mongering?
- Listening or distracting?
- Lifting up or humblebragging?
- Building or talking?
- Us or me?
Community building requires considered, conscious, and collaborative effort. Sustaining community requires the same. It can be daunting, frustrating, and empowering. A vibrant, communicative, and respectful community builds its strength and cohesion on solid core values. Each community needs to identify, discuss, commit to, and live according to its recognized values.
A functioning community, though, must go beyond listing and reciting core values. How does your community share and live its values? What about differences of opinion? Does the environment—the atmosphere—of the community allow people to speak what is on their minds? Can they share their vulnerabilities without fear of chastisement or marginalization?
Perhaps, at its core, we require community to satisfy a need to connect with other souls. The question, in my mind, moves beyond why we need community to how we go about building and sustaining it.
Video Recommendation of the Week:
This “teaser” video clip from Episode #40 on The Growth and Resilience Network® podcast channel gets to the heart of community: Relevant and respectful connections developing meaningful relationships. Listen to the Reverend Billy Hester and the congregational Lay Leader, Preston Hodges, Jr. (pictured below) speak about what happens in their church. The full episode goes “live” on November 15, 2018. Check my website for the link. And, their story will also appear in my new book, Community as a Safe Place to Land.
For more about community building and sustainability, look for my new book, Community as a Safe Place to Land,
due out the beginning of 2019. More information to come.
Make it an inspiring and grateful week and H.T.R.B. as needed.
For information about and to order my most recent book, Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island, click here. A few colleges and one state-wide agency have adopted it for training and coaching purposes. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same.
The paperback price on Amazon is now $14.99 and the Kindle version stands at $5.99. Consider it for a faculty orientation or a mentoring program. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
Pearson Education publishes my student textbooks for life success—Choices for College Success (3rd edition) and Study Skills: Do I Really Need This Stuff? (3rd edition).
(c) 2018. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.