Open To Community

No one person can hold the entire world in their vision.

We are only human, after all.

Humans come together to share.   We share the work, we share the warmth, we share the stories, we share the knowledge, we share failures, we share the successes, we share everything.

What do we want as humans?   We want the gifts we offer to be valued, want what we value to be valued by the wider community.  We want to feel seen, understood and respected, finding people with whom we can share, both sharing our life with them and sharing in their lives in a productive way.

We trust that know what we value, what we respect.   Oftentimes, though, the way we know this is by knowing what we dismiss, what we stand against.   This is a form of negative identity definition, which is always simple, easy and wrong.   Knowing what you believe and being able to express it is the basis for finding connection with other people, rather than just simply being able to find difference between you and them.

In that great, archetypal mythic adventure story, Sex And The City, each of the four women lead with a different kind of passion,  Samantha starts with physical connection, Charlotte with emotional connection from the heart, Miranda with mental connection  and Carrie with spiritual connection to art and beauty.

It is these differences which make them such a powerful community.   Each one of them needs all four kinds of passion in their life.   Together, they support each other with respect and value for what the other women bring, even if that kind of gift is not what they bring.

This notion, that you have to be confident in who you are and what you believe to be open minded and open hearted enough to create community is at the core of queer consciousness.    The ability to listen, learn from and just value the unique gifts of other people is the foundation of creating space where you can be heard, respected and valued.

Community is sharing.

No human community can thrive with only one sort of person; a world solely composed of Mirandas would lose all the richness of diversity that benefits even Miranda.

Human communities that come together based on rejection, on a basis of us vs them, quickly become communities that are designed to limit diversity, especially diversity of thought and belief.  If there is only one right way to think, well, then what can you do with people who think wrong other than convert or shun them?

For me, creating community is about creating connection on the basis of respecting and valuing others who are not like us.   The only way that can happen is when we know ourselves by what we have to offer rather than knowing what we despise, what we reject, what we find corrupt.

This is why I have spent so long building my own belief structures so they acknowledge, respect and value the stories and life experiences of others.   I understand that the golden rule is simple; do not to to others what would be hateful to you.  I hate being dismissed, devalued and rejected, so I need to be open minded and open hearted to others.

No one person can hold the entire world in their vision.  Other people see the world in a very different way than I do, and when they share their vision with me, they offer me a gift.

And that gift of sharing is the basis of community.