Community: and why we need it

We need each other. This feels counterintuitive to some (many) of us; nevertheless, it is true. If you think you can get through life without any help, you are wrong.

I’m not talking about being single. I am talking about being singular. I’m not talking about romance. I’m not even talking about companionship. I am talking about community – discovering that we are not alone. I’m talking about humanity – created by Togetherness itself, a divinity never separated from the pieces that make it whole or holy. I am talking about coming into the world each day with a determination to love our neighbors. Not like them and not look like them, but love them.

If you think you have to agree with or enjoy the company of the people you encounter in order to be kind to them, you are headed for a lonely and cynical existence trapped on a soapy box atop a very high horse.

If we cannot learn to look past our annoyances or the lists of carefully crafted characteristics that allow us to write each other immediately off, then our moral code is in desperate need of evaluation. We need to assess the value we have placed on our own shortcomings and determine why we believe them to be less meaningful than everyone else’s.

For as long as the followers of a completely loving God choose to treat people differently according to our personal scales of human worth, we choose to misrepresent the God whose compassion cost him more than any of us deserve.

We are moving quickly away from systems of support to systems of solitude by teaching people that it is “every man for himself” instead of “every man for every other man.” The longer we continue to act as if love is a currency that can be handed out to people of a certain skin color or gender, who believe in certain religious doctrines and theologies, and who make certain lifestyle choices that we decide are deserving- the farther we are from furthering Peace.

If you find yourself not alone, then find yourself not finished. We owe it to ourselves to find community when we need it and we owe it to each other to give community away. Life is not about personal comfort, but about personal contribution to the comfort of others. It was not for bondage but for bonding that we were set free. And I think it is certainly time that we start acting like it.

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Dorothy, Captain, and Eliza snuggling on the couch. 

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