Humans are social animals. Even introverts need a social network to be emotionally healthy. Here’s why and how to celebrate the gift of community.
‘Community’ is derived from the Latin communitas, which is a combination of two root words:
So community literally means coming together to share our gifts. Your community could be your marriage, family, workplace, social circle, or religious group. No matter the context, the two elements remain: how to come together, and how to effective share our gifts.
1. Gift of community
“The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.” – Frederick Buechner
We all need to connect with other humans. Many people out there are lonely and discouraged. And somebody’s life could be better today because you made the effort to initiate or maintain contact.
So reach out to someone today. You will never know the full impact of a simple word or gesture from you. Just them know you were there with them, even if only for a moment. People need to know they are not alone.
“In every community there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. And in every heart there is the power to do it.” – Marianne Williamson
2. Gifts to community
“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.” – George Bernard Shaw
We all have different personal strengths. These are the gifts we can bring to the communities we live in.
If your gift is wisdom, share it with the young. If you are creative, beautify your environment. Do you have courage? Stand up for others. Are you a peace maker? Heal the world’s wounds. And if all you want to do is make people laugh, give that to the world too.
All of us have been given the gift of community. Let us be a gift to our communities too.
43 replies on “The Gift of Community: Celebrate Our Common Humanity”
Welcome to Joyful Days! I visited your blog and subscribed right away, because I love the blog’s purpose – to be all we can be. And I love your writing style – “how big my world got when I started blogging” is exactly how I feel. Thanks for your eloquent comment.
(I tried to leave a comment on your blog to say how much I liked it but both my Mac and PC can’t seem to open the comment window.)
Welcome too! You are very kind with your comment – I wish the whole world did come to my blog – I’d be a millionaire just from Adsense alone! 🙂 Just kidding, I know what you mean. The people who do come are people I respect and admire and I am grateful for every single blogger and reader who is part of this community. Thank you for joining us.
(I tried to leave a comment on your blog too about your dedication to your faith and how prolific you are in posting, wow! Similarly couldn’t open the comment dialogue. Think my computers and blogspot don’t get along.)
The Fab Five were just… well fabulous, weren’t they! Their scripts were better than mine in the original post because they followed the negative-positive reversal pattern exactly. I am so humbled and honoured to have people smarter than me here. I am also grateful for your visit and comment, as you run a really popular blog and I value your time here. Thank you!
I loved the fab five life scripts. I don’t know what it is specifically, but something really pulled my heartstrings (especially no.4!) 🙂
Hi Daphne, I enjoyed very much reading your post. No wonder you got the whole world coming to your blog regularly.
Have a happy Monday. 🙂
The internet really has given us a worldwide community to share our thoughts and fears and inspiration with. Many of my friends and family in my small world of Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA don’t understand just how big my world got when I started blogging in June 2007. I had no idea that I would get friends from across the world just by writing my thoughts on a blog. I love it. Through the use of the internet, I have gained friends in Canada, Australia, Japan, Peru, India and England just to name a few.
@ Middle Way,
Years ago I too was apprehensive about meeting people online, so I know how those people feel. Yet most people online are just like us, and we’re good people, right? 😉 There will always be bad eggs but you get those offline too.
The difference between online and offline is increasingly blurred as we find long-lost friends on Facebook, or meet people face to face after knowing them online. You were one of the earliest bloggers I met online and I’m grateful that we’re still in touch!
It’s good to know that you agree with this post – affirmation that blogging communities, or the ones I’ve met, are truly awesome. As you say, total strangers who come together in love and support… I would never have imagined it if I hadn’t started blogging.
Thank you for your kind comment, Barbara. I appreciate your encouragement!
@ Tom, apparently Watson saw herself as so much a part of her community that she refused to take credit for the quote, but accepted attribution on its behalf and for its sake. I thought that awesome. Love your quote too – the language used is so simple but the call to action so powerful. Thanks for your enriching comment.
@ Celes, no apologies needed! You’re busy doing great things on your blog and that’s as it should be. I’m happy to see you either here or there, and am flattered that you visit here most often. I appreciate the encouragement to keep this going too… I’m sure I’m not the only blogger who wonders if it’s worth it and is tempted to try other things! 🙂 Thanks for this bolstering comment, Celes.
Hi Daphne – As I was reading your post I was nodding in agreement. The community we find via blogging is something indescribable. It’s the love and support of strangers that motivate us to come back to the keyboard day after day, whether we’re writing on our own blog or commenting on others. Although time is short, our online friends will always welcome us whether we visit daily, weekly or monthly. How awesome is that?
Thank you for this beautifully written post. It was a joy to read.
I know some people would not consider an online community as “authentic” or “real” as face to face.
The fact is, I would not have had any interaction with as varied a group of people as I have since I started blogging. The interaction is real and full of life!
This community has enriched and expanded me. It certainly doesn’t take away from my everyday life but enhances it.
Thank you for that!
Welcome! Thank you for visiting and leaving your comment. It does make sense to give each other gifts. I always thought a community was a group with common interests, which is a more selfish definition. So I learnt something from this post too. I like your blog’s focus on the meaning of life. I used to think about that a lot!
Hey Daphne!! Thank you so much for creating this special space on the web for all of us. Please always keep this going and don’t ever stop! I’m honored to know you and I apologize that I’m not able to comment as frequently as I’d like – but your blog is definitely one that I visit most frequently above other sites.
Love the Watson quote. It reminds me of these lines from Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s The Invitation.
“It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.”
Sama sama! When I started blogging I thought it was just about writing. Never expected community to be such a large part of it (I was a real newbie, as you can tell) and this is one of the best unexpected joys I’ve found. Thanks for being here, Arswino.
New to your blog – I look forward to reading more. I like this post about community and giving back through gifts. It makes sense.
Hi Daphne, I am pleased to know you and be part of this community as well. I believe that one of the success keys of blogging is make community with others.
Thanks for sharing, Daphne.
You made a good point, that community is about connection, either physically in person or mentally online. On your comment that communities can do great things, I’m reminded of a quote by Margaret Mead:
“Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Thanks for your comment Stacey, and for being part of this community here.
Community is such an important part of our lives – connecting with loved ones in person, hugs, hand shakes, or connecting online with like-minded people. I think it helps us feel whole. Loneliness is well, lonely, communities can do great things when people come together for a like cause. In my experience, I think people forget how important community is.
I really have you to thank for firstly showing me what a blog community could be on your own blog, and then introducing my blog to many of your readers who kindly came over and visited, adding their warmth and support here as well. Thank you so very much for this.
“Co-create” is a nice idea, isn’t it? I realised how true this was. A blog is much more than just the blogger. I am grateful that you are a co-creator here, Lance.
Whatever your definition of ‘correct people’ is, I’m glad you consider us here to fall into that category! I am glad that you want to participate here, and proud to have an intelligent person of goodwill like yourself as part of this community. Thank you.
You are right. Community is power! Aren’t the people here amazing? They do take the time and trouble to read, think, share, and write… I like the way you put it – enriching each others’ lives. This makes the time invested all worthwhile.
I like it here too! And on many of the other blogs where members of this community are also present. Everyone brings their wisdom and support with them wherever they go. When I see commentors here on other blogs as well (like yours), I feel quite at home there at once, knowing it means that blog has a certain quality. Thanks for your lovely comment, Giovanna.
Thanks for building this community here, it is a great place to be. Always fill with love, understanding, wisdom and support. I like it here.
Imperfect Action is better than No Action
It’s nice to be a part of this community, people here not only write, they read as well. They take note of other people and help touch and enrich each other’s lives. More power!
Community has a real value when correct people gathered through it.@ the moment that’s what I feel of you and your blogging community.Proud to put comments in such a community.
Daphne, thank you for creating and fostering this wonderful community here. It is truly a joy to visit here and interact. To co-create (I like that!). And the fab five – they truly are fabulous and shared amazing examples!
And you are an amazing person, with whom I consider myself blessed that our paths have crossed.
Community is powerful and here it is truly uplifting and life-refreshing. Thank you for fostering this here.
@ Liara, I love your last sentence “Life is joy”. And you are so right about us never being alone, especially if we’re plugged into a level of consciousness that helps us realise we are all one, all part of a greater, unified whole. You have a way of writing that is very profound, very oracle-like. Thanks for this wise comment, Liara.
@ Vered, I’m always honoured when a busy blogger like you takes the time to leave a comment here. You have an awesome community over at your blog, and I’m learning from you how you do it – in your case I think it’s just amazing content and the willingness to speak with your own voice.
I call it like minded. For me it is so important to hang out with like-minded. At work… and in life. I went through few experiences that showed me very clearly that community – those you hang out with is one of the most important things for me.
Hi Alik, I know what you mean about choosing who you hang out with. Early in my career I mingled with the ‘wrong’ people. It’s not their fault, of course, but I choose more carefully now. If choosing your community is important to you, then I am honoured that you chose to visit and comment here. Thank you!
@ Tess, I love the Marianne Williamson quote too. And I admire you for volunteering with the Habitat for Humanity. They are fortunate to have someone like you working with them. In your heart there is power to heal the world, Tess.
@ Broderick, you just listed some of the most gratifying aspects of the blogging community, especially in this little niche we’re in. Just the different perspectives alone that we give each other is a huge gift in itself, because it enriches our minds and hearts. Thanks for the clarity of your comment.
@ Patrick, it was my pleasure to include your lines, and thank you for taking the time and effort to think them up! I am so grateful that you are part of this community.
Your analogy about scientists is very apt. In fact, I remember reading that in the scientific community, sometimes a brilliant idea is conceived at the same time by two scientists from different parts of the world who had not even been collaborating… my unscientific explanation is that there must be ‘something in the air’ generated by so many great minds coming together. Maybe it is the same with us here.
Thank you for your insightful comment, Patrick.
@ Amanda, isn’t it fascinating what words mean? I tend to use ‘community’ to mean ‘group of people’ as well but knew there had to be more to it, so I’m glad I did this post too. Thank you for sharing the gift of your presence and your comments here, Amanda.
I can relate. Blogging is a lot of work, and the sense of community you get from it is definitely a big motivator for me too.
Daphne, rest assured, you are never alone. Each person is interconnected to beings and conditions they see as well as the unseen. To take responsibility for who you are is to recognize your choices and perceptions shape your sense of existence. This is not the same as blame. As you evolve to grasp the difference between taking responsibility for how you think and feel, you discern this is not the same as fault. There is nothing negative except your illusion. Life is joy.
I never really thought about the root words of “community” and what it actually means – thanks for pointing that out! I had always though about community as a group of people who shared a “space,” but hadn’t thought of the “sharing gifts” part. I will remember that 🙂
First of all, thank you Daphne for the including me with the 4 other great posters!
And secondly, I have to agree with Stacy and Henie – it’s a great community that visits here and it only exists in the form that it does because you put the time and effort into making it happen.
I’ll leave you with something I discovered, that I think is relevant, about how science works.
It’s possible to do good science by yourself and not have help from anyone else. But all the greatest and most brilliant scientists I know are ones that have surrounded themselves with other great minds. It’s so much better for everyone when there is free flow of thoughts back and forth.
And that’s what I often see happening in the comments of your site.
@ Henie, you always make me smile with your earnestness literally jumping off the page. Thank you for both your comments! 🙂 And thank you also for taking the trouble to participate in the challenge. You are certainly a fine blogger yourself, and incredibly artistic.
@ Snigdha, you flatter me. If I’m ever down and need an ego boost, I think I’m going to contact you! Your comment is much appreciated. Yes the bloggers in the personal development niche are an incredible lot. I don’t think you can find many groups anywhere in the world whose average ‘positivity quotient’ is so high that it practically shoots through the roof. This community that we belong to is a salve for some of the negativity I encounter elsewhere, and often get dragged into myself against my better judgment. I am grateful for this community, and I am grateful for you, Snigdha.
Thanks for the kind words. I guess communities are less strong in big cities around the world, and you’re right that right now we need to pull together more than ever. You made a good point here.
Yes I’m from Singapore. Guess I left that out because when I started this blog I kinda wanted to remain anonymous… same old story! Thanks for your well wishes. You know I wish the same for you!
@ Stacey, I know what you mean about so many blogs to read and so little time. Plus I know you’re launching a ranch of lovely products -that must be keeping you busy. Thanks for still dropping by and saying hi!
@ Jay, we are blessed to belong to a community of friendly, helpful, supportive people indeed. I am so glad you are part of this niche!
@ Diane, I get lifted by your wonderful comments each time. Thank you for taking the time to leave a kind word. You help make this community what it is, and I am grateful.
I was just thinking about this, and I love how you mentioned sharing ourselves and our gifts. The different perspectives, the thought-out insightful comments, the growth potential and the fact that this community is global are just such amazing benefits. Excellent post!
I love your thoughts but your quotes are what stood out for me this time.
Marianne Williamson change my life in the early 90’s with her wisdom.
I’ve decided to begin volunteering for Habitat for Humanity my liberation is bound up with theirs!
Hi, Daphne, a truly heart-warming and deep topic to think over. “Coming together to share your gifts” – Wow, what a great way to define community ! Yes, it is the deepest need of every human being to be needed and only when u make yourself a part of a community through sharing, caring and ” touching” other souls that your own need to be needed is satiated. It is a sheer pleasure being part of this wonderful community called bloggers and simply great to know a member of this community named ” Daphne”, who in a few months’ time has become a “community” by herself. Yes, when I visit your blog, I not only read your posts and comments thereon , but am also led to visit so many other amazing blogs. Truly great going!!
eeek! there went a “non-typo” error in “fo”…I meant for. LOL at myself:)
Thank you for creating a lovely and powerful community fo which I am proud, grateful, and very fortunate to belong to 🙂
You are being of great service from your heart and soul…what could be grander?
And thank you for the acknowledgement and link…you are very kind indeed to include me along side some very fine people and though it was challenging it was FUN!
Wonderful topic on which to focus.
Certainly in South Africa where I live, the sense of community is dwindling. And now is the time when we need it most.
For some time now, I have been wondering where you come from. It’s not stated in your bio. Then, this morning, I saw your tweet and found out that you are from Singapore!! How nice to know a fellow Singaporean with the same interests as me!! All the best in your journey!!
I get lifted just by coming by!
Thanks so much!
Great scripts from great people. Thanks for sharing them with us Daphe! I love this community and am blessed to be a part of it!
Thanks for the link love. I am part of an amazing community and recently have not had the time to visit, chat, comment, and connect. I miss doing my regular rounds on the blogosphere and miss the daily connections that I find on other blogs. So many online friends, so many blogs, so little time (I think that may be the title of my next post — thanks for the inspiration).