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Pick a group that you are a part of: any group bigger than 2. It can be family, work, neighbors, friends, school, classes, you name it. Pick one that you want to see get better, and test it against the following components of True Community.
If your community could use some work, come back next week to figure out the counter-intuitive process of how to create True Community.
A Safe Place – Does your community accept everyone as they are, without asking them to change to edit themselves? How’s your community doing at creating a Safe Place for everyone?
Realism – Does your community have enough diversity that the options and opinions of the community represent the real diversity of option in the world? Or is it all one gender, one age group, one religion, one of anything? How’s your community at diversity that creates Realism?
Contemplation – How’s your community at creating moments of contemplation, both of the group, and of people’s place in the group? It is a place where people are not defensive, but are willing to take criticism in a loving and helpful way? This is a tough one. How’s your community doing a creating an environment where people can contemplate their behavior in and around the group?
Walls Down (Personal Disarmament) – It seems that true community needs us to lower our personal walls, to not keep defending against each other. To think the best of ourselves and others. How’s your community doing at keeping the Walls Down?
Everyone Leads – having a leader is nice because we can sit back and let them be responsible for the community, but Dr. Scott Peck suggests that unless everyone is a leader in the group, the group will struggle to achieve True Community. How’s your community doing at everyone being the leader?
Fight Gracefully – Fighting just for your point of view is both healthy and unhealthy for communities. We need to fight because if there is something we believe in, we need to speak it. But we can’t have a we win they lose mentality. Some of the best fighting has us fighting for our point, and fighting for those who disagree with our point. Yes, arguing so that everyone wins. Difficult, yes. Worth it? How’s your community at Fighting Gracefully?
Spirit – When we see people in True Community we can feel it. There is a spirit to that group that is enticing. We want to be a part of it. How much Spirit does your community have? Are people dying to be a part of it?