I’ve been tuned in to Hockey Day in Canada on the CBC today and the word community has been used a lot in the pieces from around the country and in the host city of Peterborough where I lived and spent some great time in when I was younger.
The use of the word and the stories that have been told got me thinking a lot about the term community and what it means and how we see it and use it.
Dictionary.com defines community as:
I’m a big believer in community – all types of community. And over the last few years it has become a word that we use often and for many reasons. My job title is Community Manager and I love it. I get to foster the relationship between brands and the people who identify with them and the products and services that they provide and the lifestyles that they represent. But the word community is so much bigger than that.
I identify most with the 3rd point in the above definition, most clearly “group sharing common characteristics or interests”. I believe that it is the most encompassing and inclusive definition and it leads itself to the way I choose to see community.
If you are a fan of a sports team, you are part of a community. If you belong to a church congregation, you are part of a community. If you are a union member, you are part of a community. If you support a cause or charity initiative, you are part of a community. In your office, neighbourhood, family, circle of friends, team and social media networks, you are part of a community. And I like that feeling and idea a lot. Communities are representative of commitment, love and support. They also challenge us to be our best, to move forward, to improve and grow as a group and as individuals. They foster new ideas and innovation. Communities are imperative.
Note: Community is also a great TV show and I’m glad that it’s finally back with new episodes.
The famous line goes like this: It takes a community to raise a child. I would add that it also takes a community to help us evolve as adults and to create change in our world.
I believe in the power of community. I believe in the camaraderie and relationships that create new communities and are created because of communities.
The communities that we are a part of make us strong and give us the chance to succeed at the things that we want to do and that we believe in. They are more important that I think we sometimes realize and they should be recognized for their worth.
I would invite all of you to think about the communities that you belong to and how great those experiences have been for you.
Communities are awesome. And they make us awesome.