Even though much of my work is literally TOO BIG FOR WORDS, occasionally I am inspired to write, and this is the place for that. Feel free to join in the conversation. Thanks for reading.
I often have wondered about the word “community” - what creates community, what is community, how can we better our communities? Wikipedia tells us that: “a community is a social unit of any size that shares common values, or that is situated in a given geographical area. The word "community" derives from the Old French comuneté which comes from the Latin communitas (from Latin communis, things held in common). If we trust the media for our truth, we could easily fear our communities are crumbling or being transformed into virtual communities.
But if you were one of the lucky ones at The Wire in Berwyn last night, you witnessed community at its very, very best! (http://www.oprfcf.org/entrepreneur-leaders) Forty local entrepreneurs gathered to invest in a competition elevating us to tap together our most important human super power - imagining new possibilities. In a kinder gentler “shark tank” style event, the six finalists presented big bold ideas intent to transform our community. Pausing in between presentations, I savored the ecstatic energy present in the room. Everyone was abuzz. Abuzz about ideas, about making connections, about improving our being together. We heard BIG bold ideas about making pickles, sharing skills in time banks, meeting hungry people with surplus meals, enabling seniors to age in place, creating livable landscapes and offering recycling opportunities every day! Each one was better than the next. I found myself wishing I had a giant checkbook so I could support every one of them! We were present together creating a new common square — supporting what we have in common: a deep love for each other, rich resources for improving our world, and a trusting belief that we can do better, together.
Here’s a big idea… we need more common spaces where we can come together to create solutions and share our common values. We desperately need sacred spaces to dream bigger and do all the BIG things we are capable of. Thank you John Houseal, John Harris, Laura Maychruk, Kristin Carlson Vogen, and Michelle Vanderlaan, and all of those who invested in answering the prompt: “Have you ever said to a friend, neighbor, co-worker or classmate, What this community really needs is … “? Big ideas. Big change. Starting now. Get in the game. We need you.