Tuesday, October 25, 2005

what is authentic community?

I have been reading M.Scott Peck’s The Different Drum – Community making and Peace. It is a story about the various forms of community that he has found himself engaged in over the years. It amazes me is that no matter what the environment is, we as humans usually enter social environments in a self-preservation sort of mode. What we don’t realize is that this self-preservation mode is the very enemy of forming genuine community. So the question then becomes how do I help to create a welcome environment where people can just be themselves? Maybe it starts with vulnerability.

What is vulnerability? It may be different for each person. Maybe it starts with an apology, there’s nothing more humbling than admitting that you are wrong or that you screwed up. For some people it is a big step to get to that step.

The next level might be examining our motives behind the issue. What is the question behind the question? Is there something about that issue that “hints” at something that reminds us of a previous issue in our life? What if we could acknowledge those “hints” for what they point to, and explore them to see why they seem to linger in our heart and mind. Coming to this level of vulnerability is not easy; rather it is a choice, a choice that leads to individual freedom and authentic community.