Community Redefined

Right now I’m in Chicago for a work conference and I’m touched by how broad my community is. I feel extremely blessed because it seems wherever I go, I know someone. I’m especially lucky in this trip because my sister recently moved here and my uncle lives not too far out of the city. What I’m noticing though is there seems to be a broader movement around the U.S. to expand our definition of community.

Watching the video below a friend made brought tears to my eyes because at the various occupy movements people are being cared for:

#Occupy Bay Area from Abraham Heisler on Vimeo.

The homeless, the mentally ill, everyone is being cared for. Everyone is being given food, a place to sleep, and healthcare. This is community. When we all work to support one another. No more individualistic, survival of the fittest blah di blah. Love, compassion, support. It’s being demonstrated among strangers. The definition of “community” is broadening to encompass not only those close to us, but those we don’t even know at all.

It’s hard for me to describe just how much this touches me. That strangers are taking care of each other not because of a natural disaster or a crisis but just because. Because it’s needed. People are handing out food because they want to be of service, they want to help. I’m crying as I write this 1) because I’m super tired and 2) because I’ve been hoping this day would come and now it has. It is beyond sweet to know other people are watching out for each other. I feel it on a personal level because as I wrote about last week, for many years I felt like I had to take care of myself all by myself. To lean into a community is AMAZING. And to see larger communities developing is also amazing.

I dream of a world where we continue to take care of one another. A world where we support those around us — including strangers — to the best of our capacity. A world where we know what we give we also receive. A world where we understand what it means to live in a global community.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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2 comments… add one
  • sid jordan (Acarya Vishvamitra) Nov 29, 2011, 1:33 pm

    Namaskar Rebekah,
    I am touched by your Another World Is Probable blog and excited about your coming book.  I heard a quote yesterday on NPR, "People who don't shed tears don't get it".  My response was that our tears are eternal springs of joy and sadness connecting us with others.
    Your abiding fan,

    • Rebekah Nov 30, 2011, 2:08 am

      Thank you so much Vishvamitra! I like that, I think you’re right — tears are joyful and sad and they do act as a bridge to others. Looking forward to seeing you soon. =)


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