I've been given pause, this week, to think about 'community'.
There's community service, the community we live in, the school community, the community of believers, the writing community....ad infinitum.
We've had evidence of global and national community in the headlines as the price of a commodity here affects the sale of another there. and the whole economic community shifts about in a writhing mass of interconnectedness.
We've seen national community portrayed as town meeting in Presidential debates, where we try to fathom how one group can do a better job of connecting and protecting us than another. For regardless of the side we take, or who wins, our actions will (please note usage) have an impact upon others.
We live in specific geographic areas, which we help along by serving others who live there: neighbors, people down the street, people nearby. By supporting one another, fewer falter, and the whole is strengthened.
But, what's been my personal community experience this week?
I've had people whose help I've sought assist me, sympathizing, empathizing. Rather than belittle me, they've helped me see where I can help and support them in return.
I've had people reach out to me to help with their cause, thereby making me part of a group, seeking to reach a common goal, and providing companionship in the process.
I've laughed with others who share some of my goals, people who -- knowing the same enemies that I do: boredom and lackluster performance -- shared ways to outwit those enemies. They've shared freely, congenially, and without excessive use of adverbs.
Okay, some of these people have been in the writing community I find online. Others have been people at my children's school, or people in business I've dealt with and hope to befriend.
What it all has meant, tho', is a chance to communicate, to share, to become friends -- and as someone who still feels a bit of a newcomer in a strange place, that is the world to me. It is too easy to fall into a mode of isolation. Such isolation comes first of necessity then remains out of a sort of perverse, proud independence. If left too long, it becomes a cancer of its own, eating away at the social spirit we all have to some degree.
These last couple weeks have brought home to me that my social self needs feeding, and therefore, it is now PARTY TIME!