2 min read

Defining Community

Defining Community

What is community?

As the shift from traditional to emergent systems permeates everything we knew and held dear, many of the truths we thought were carved into stone were in fact etched in dust— blown away by the inevitable winds of change fueling the metacrisis.

Community is a gathering of humans. A collective of people who have chosen to share a mission together. The mission can be simple— gathering every morning in the same physical dwelling to drink caffeine. Or the mission can be extremely complex— creating networks to support the collective during systemic collapse.

The mission is the thread woven through this collection of humanity that binds everyone together. The deeper the mission, the stronger the thread and the tighter the knots that keep everyone connected, safe and warm.

The simpler missions are the flare that makes our lives more beautiful. The banter of spicy baristas at a coffeeshop or the chatter of patrons at a nail salon spilling their tea to the manicurist for an hour of enamel-laced talk therapy. These simple missions and loosely woven collectives make our lives rich. For the duration of our time as upright humans on this planet, we have sought gatherings of fellow humans to share space, tea and time with— it’s how we survive with open and full hearts. It’s how we survive with our humanity intact.

The complex missions, the ones with lives on the line and futures to be sculpted, are a tightly woven entity that binds together for strength. This collective has a vision that reaches into the heavens and sends roots deep into the core of the Earth. Those roots intertwine with other collectives on similar missions and together they form a network.

Build for Humanity

That’s why a community, a true community, can never be a line item on a marketing budget or an OKR assigned to a team to meet the Q2 financial projections. People who view communities as entities to “harvest from” or “drive content conversions” are not building community. They are not caring for the humans in their charge. They are not creating safe community containers— they are simply extracting from humans to support the bottom line on a P&L statement to justify large salaries and bloated budgets.

Community is not a commodity. It never has been and it never will be.

Why you choose to build a community is everything. If your communities wither in apathy or you never get them launched, take a long hard look at your motives. The answer lies in your WHY.

Build communities to support our humanity. Build communities to rally behind a mission— any mission— and support one another as we travel through the chaos of collapse. If our communities stay rooted together, we will weather the chaos of change and create something beautiful and regenerative to step into once we emerge from the dark night of the soul.

Cultivate your own presence in multiple communities— IRL and virtual. We need to find collective missions and support in anyway that resonates with us. We need one another and we need to be able to hold space for and with our communities in the coming years.

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