Lately I have been giving some thought to community and the connections that are formed there. With social media prevalent in the majority of our lives, community connections has taken on new meaning. Through this type of medium I am able to connect with people all over the world. Most of these types of community are based on a common interest. I enjoy being a part of the social media groups where our community functions in this way.
However, not all communities operate in this fashion. What about our local communities or the global community? There may not be a shared interest among members. This got me thinking, what are the characteristics of a healthy community? For me they are: respect, honesty, integrity, support, communication which includes listening and freedom in expressing your thoughts without ridicule, and love.
Healthy community connections are those who accept their members for who they are, for their gifts and attributes and who challenge people to grow. It is important, I think, that each member have an equal voice and vote upon those things that interest them and impact their community. This type of community cares for its members. They can find support, love and care in the community whatever is happening for them. There is a chance to pull together on behalf of the whole community. In this community there is shared responsibility and accountability. In my mind the members are highly valued and work cohesively alongside each other. One person is as important as the next person. This makes healthy communities with deep connections.
To date I have only found such communities in the social media groups I am a part of that share a common interest. Could it be that a common interest is the link to creating healthy communities? I don’t know the answer. I continue to search for this type of community in the physical world. One day I will find it.