Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reverb 10|Day 7|Community

Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?
(Author: Cali Harris)

Definition of COMMUNITY (from Merriam-Webster's Dictionary)
: a unified body of individuals: as
a : the people with common interests living in a particular area; broadly : the area itself
b : an interacting population of various kinds of individuals (as species) in a common location
c : a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society.

There are a few places where I have felt a true sense of community. I looked up the definition of community because I wanted to see exactly how it was worded.
Obviously the key word to define community would be common. I thought about some of the places that I considered to be my community and I agreed that it was because we shared a common interest, goal, belief, or genes...
I also thought about places or groups that I once considered my community and I think I finally realized why it just never was for me. You see, outwardly, I thought we had something in common. Outwardly, I thought we held the same goals, beliefs or values - but I was wrong.
The first place that I would consider to be my community would be my church congregation. I am not talking about the building or the organization, I am talking about the people. They are, essentially, my family. We share common beliefs, interests, goals, and values.
Another place I have felt a very strong sense of community is here...out in the world wide web. I know that may seem strange to some, but chances are if you are taking the time to read my blog, you will also understand why I have found a community here - for me. I belong to two Yahoo art groups where I've really grown to appreciate the community. I think it's because I do feel validated and noticed there. Not in a "flashy, hey look at me" kind of way, but in a way where others are commenting on my articles or artwork. Where they are sending me an encouraging word every now and again, and where I can do the same for them.
I once spent quite a bit of time on a scrapbooking message board. I joined because I felt like I could be inspired there. I don't know what it was exactly, but I just never felt like I could fit in with that group of women. I did make a few friends there and keep up with them outside of the board, but I lost interest in the site and felt like it was more of a toxic environment with a lot of back-biting and jr. high competition-like attitudes. That was definitely not for me.
I enjoy my facebook community. I keep up with my far away family and friends there. I am thankful, however, that I've been limiting myself on it and that I've decided to be more focused on my blog and art once again.
For 2011, I want to have more interaction with the fabulous authors of the blogs that I faithfully read, I want to become more vocal and assertive on my own blog and create a place where people can come and feel like they can find a safe community to be open and real with me. A place where we can deeply connect. How about you?

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