Thursday, March 14, 2013

Your Two Cents: Community Identity

Today marks the start of a new feature on the blog: Your 2 Cents. I want to hear from you!

In particular, I am very interested in community and our perceived ideals for life together. I am pretty sure we all realize that life has both good and bad parts to it. There are things we love, and many other things we know we need to change. Life is dynamic, particularly for anyone who is not a hermit. (Sometimes, this seems like a good way to go...I think I know of a good bridge up in the mountains somewhere I can go live under.) In our current world, the communities we identify with are numerous, and the ways our very identity build around this participation is extremely interesting. True, there are books, studies, and more about community out there where I can turn for information, and I admit I have and will continue to do so, often reflecting on this very blog about where my thoughts are on the matter.
Hiking with a group of guys from church = community

Here, I'm looking for a little deeper insight. I want to get to why and how of community. I want opinions. I want honest reflections. I want to know if people have desires similar to my own, or if there is just something completely different about the pursuits of life.

I want to know what constitutes an ideal, or beneficial, community. I want to know what you feel is the pure, noble, true, and good things in your life, and what you feel is out there in the way things can or should be better. I want to know how you desire life together.

Yes, that is a pretty big, open-ended topic. I did mention this is a new feature, and so there will be recurring posts which hopefully have some questions which can be conversation starters and places for pondering. I want this to be as open and honest as you can be, and so if it is best for you to post anonymously, that is perfectly good (as is putting your name on it). This is a discussion, and I bet there are many different ideas out there! If you would like to email comments rather than post on the blog, please feel free - but please put "My 2 Cents: Community" or whatever topic you are commenting on in the subject line. This will let me know it isn't spam!

Today's Conversation Starter: Self-Identification

Community - any group to which you can belong: Family, friends, classmates, ethnicity, coworkers/work/union, acquaintances, faith groups/churches, political parties, special interest groups, alumni associations, social clubs, professional associations, affinity groups (i.e. hobbies, gym, fan clubs, veterans group, sports (playing or cheering), and online (social media, forums, etc).

  • What specific communities do you identify yourself with? Why?
  • Is there a particular community that is core to who you view yourself as? (a part of your identity)
  • How satisfied are you with the options for community you have?
  • Are you satisfied with these communities?
  • What is it that makes you satisfied, or to become more satisfied?
  • Does your satisfaction with community have anything to do with active participation or contribution to the community, or is it more personal preference, style, similar belief, or partaking of goods, services, and support? 


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