I have always had a Vision of Community in which we would be able to heal one another through Love. It is very difficult, because in order to be able to do that, it is necessary to rise above one’s own reactivity and give back peace and equanimity. I believe this is what Jesus was talking about when He said to “turn the other cheek”. And yet, 2000+ years later, we, as a human race, have yet to learn that lesson.
I have been attempting to practice this for a few years, and I have witnessed encouraging results. I have seen several people who were struggling get on their feet over a period of being helped and nurtured, and enabled to go on their way with new and tangible possibilities. But it requires great endurance to resist the emotional temptation to strike back when provoked, and I am beginning to believe that accomplishing this very difficult task is a necessary component of the healing process.
In any community of people, there are always those who are stronger, more verbal, more outwardly gifted than others. These people are gifts to the community; they bring their gifts and share them freely, and everyone is the richer for it, especially when offered selflessly and without ego (an admittedly mean feat for any of us!)
There are also those who are less verbal, less forward and sometimes less self-confident. (Of course, just staying in the background does not necessarily create low self-confidence, but it can sometimes.) And there is everyone in between.
In my Vision of Community, I see us all helping one another, all acknowledging and encouraging and including one another.
One of the things that every person needs in order to feel loved is attention. Giving and receiving attention are important forms of Love. Attention can take various forms, such as appearing in community photographs or having one’s input or opinion elicited.
For me, Community also means striving to be aware of the needs and condition of every soul and caring for the needs of every soul. The more we do that, the stronger we become as a Community.
This is the kind of Community I have always wanted to be part of—a Community in which everyone is looking out for everyone else. And remember: “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.”