We are building this amazing thing for you, with you, and because of you, our community!
This is the sentence that ended the Solstice Attitude of Gratitude post two weeks ago, with the addition of the two simple yet profound words, with you. I chose to begin this piece with the amended sentence because building and creating a thriving community within our North Country home is our overarching goal; it is indeed the essence of everything we are working toward at Deep Root Center.
Community is one of those words that seems to get bandied about with little thought or sentiment. I sometimes wonder if we can fully understand the meaning or implication of the term.
Webster's New Encyclopedic Dictionary gives several definitions including: a group of people living in an area or the area itself, a group of people living in an area with common interests, an interacting population with various interests, joint ownership or participation, shared activity, and a social state or condition.
I think that community is a combination of all those things Mr. Webster offers. Yes, it is a group of people, interacting and participating with some commonality and some differences and it is a social state. I believe, however, his definition can be expanded to include the human condition, personal choice, and individualism.
The living, breathing, loving, learning, mistake making, giving, and taking, soul of a flourishing community is about each person who chooses to be part of it. Everyone participates with respect and provides something to the group that is undeniably unique and beautiful. The whole group labors together to creatively solve problems and celebrates together when the work is done. Everyone in the group does not need to be dogmatically attached to the same beliefs; a common agreement to disagree with esteem and honor is all that is required. And, when feedback is offered it is given and received with grace and humility.
The key, then, is that sense of belonging, whether a large or small community--- you understand that your ideas are important, valid, and matter to the whole collective.
This, as mentioned at the outset, is what we are determined to create at Deep Root Center.
What do you have to offer? Your input counts, and is absolutely essential to this growing membership. The Deep Root Center community is here for you, with you, and because of you!