Inquiries into Community
What is community? More specifically, what is community to you? Is community the group of people you hang out with? The ones you can rely on? Does proximity matter? Gina here at Seven Stones has a powerful distinction for neighbor. Yet, we hear a lot about online communities, and research tells us many people experience much of their relationships through their devices.
On occasion I will begin to track my community based on contacts with friends and family. For example, I spoke with Jen and Gina on Monday, had lunch with Kyla on Tuesday and exercised with boot camp friends that night, Sarah and Gus on Wednesday, Wendy on Thursday, again on Friday and then ladies night, St. Pierre’s birthday party on Saturday, family visit day on Sunday.
Is community a function of something? Is it designed to make me feel safe? Like I belong? Am I part of the community of my town, my neighborhood, my relatives, the different groups of friends, near and far, the activities and passions I share with others?
In my search for clarity, I’ve mapped my communities. These are from over a decade ago, a series of visual searches for simplicity.
Community does not have to be complicated, or a list. It’s more of a tapestry, a fabric of social ties that do have functions and purpose, but different ones for different people. We are social beings after all.
What does community mean to you? What would your community map look like today?