By Snacky Mild
“There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.”
-M. Scott Peck
In short, I think to be a part of a community is to be brave. Whispering sweet nothing, fantasy dreamscapes in a game of pillow talk with your significant other is a much different thing than being open, transparent, and vulnerable to an audience. There, in that nest of comfort, between those warm sheets of love, we feel safe: guarded against the world and its judgments.
It takes courage to let people in, to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, because there is always the chance that we might get hurt. There is a chance we might not receive all that we think we deserve. I know for me personally it takes a lot to let someone in; because when I do it means I care, and when I care there is the chance my feelings will be hurt. It takes a lot of bravery to trust others. Sometimes the hardest part is letting go of our entitlement, finding fulfillment in the success of the community; placing less value on the success of our pocket books and bank accounts.
I think truly being a part of a community is about understanding how crucially intertwined we all are. People are very sensitive creatures, battling feelings of envy, fear, and insecurity. It comes down to a very basic principal of taking other’s emotions into account, treating others the way we want to be treated. No one wants to feel insufficient, but I think sometimes we can act in very insensitive ways that leave a wake of destruction behind us.
The bonds created under the umbrella of pain and struggles are near unbreakable. When I act in a way that lets somebody understand that I acknowledge their existence, that I am hear to exist with them, not above them–these are the bonds that make a community.