Monday, April 8, 2013

The Importance of Community: It's critial to your Thrivival!

1570 miles didn't stop me from picking up and leaving everything I knew to start a life where the only certainty came from my husband. I had no fear, and optimism on my side. By the time I left, I already checked myself out emotionally. Armed with determination, I was prepared to fight my way back home, and at the time, Spokane sounded like a good starting point.

I didn't hate Tucson. I did hate the heat, the dirt, and the lack of family. The most important memories I have is the ones created by the only community I had: my mothers group. I learned a lot about social ins and outs (You would think I learned them in school, but I suppose I didn't.) through it. It was my only consistent social outlet and my survival plan.

                             (photo of our first snow in Tucson, really made me miss home)

The importance of community didn't hit me until I reached Spokane, and the appreciation was not fully realized until moving away. Can you survive without community?

Nature already knows community is vital to quality of life. It's not just the balance of our eco-system. Michael Dowd points out that the entire genetic makeup of the universe structures itself upon community. Even when you take the smallest thing you can think of...such as an atom....and look at it from a larger scale, you can see community taking place. Atoms work together to make simple organisms, and simple organism work together to make complex organisms and so on until it makes up the various complex creations such animals, even solar systems!

Community ensures that everyone contributes to society. We all have area of expertise, and/or social standing: and those positions deserve an equal amount of respect and gratitude. While society can sacrifice one or two non-specifics, if we miss too many pieces society it will collapse. In other words the rich man would not be rich if the poor man was not poor. The doctor would not save lives if the farmer did not farm.

Survival and Thriving is not the same thing. We need community to thrive. We need it to bring us to a since of belonging, self-identity, and support. Community is why I love Spokane. It is the support of community I love the most: the friend who brought me milk when my entire family was sick (Thanks Daree!), the person who invited me to events and groups, and the support groups that helped me recollect myself enough to combat depression (shout out to Berean Mops!).

What is more, is how I saw the larger community to do amazing things. Like helping Cat, a young woman with Scleroerma, raise money to fund a stem cell transplant to save her life. It just brings tears to my eyes. I can't wait to find all the community has here in Seattle.

Can you survive without community? Possibly. But do you want to survive or thrive?

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