Man’s search for community

I’m always looking for community—a feeling of connectedness to others, where people care about, listen to, and do things for one another in an open-hearted environment.

This appears to be my life journey. It requires self-reflection—looking at who I am as a friend and becoming the friend I am looking for—and action. Although the dark side is feeling weary and downhearted from the energy required to make internal changes and find like-minded people, I feel grateful that my desire for meaningful engagement motivates me to try to be the best friend I can be and to see who or what might be behind the next door … and the next door … and the next door.

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8 thoughts on “Man’s search for community

  1. Community is so important. It’s amazing how much better you feel in life when you are surrounded by like minded people who support and encourage through your journey.
    I recently found a community of people who do just that and I am so grateful for each and everyone of them.

  2. In my experience, friendship and community are two different things. You are not necessarily friends with people in a community. In community you come together for some common interest and if the community is healthy, a kind of comradeship happens that may or may not include friendship. It’s a connection, and it often becomes friendship, but is not dependent on friendship. It’s dependent on the third thing.

    I have several communities of varying commitment and connection in my life right now–but they are based of that third thing. Creativity. Finding what real in ourselves and others. Find what’s real in Life.

    Maybe all really community, like friendship, is a spiritual relationship.

    • Your reply makes me realize that I regard community as my stepping-stone to friendship and that is why I am looking for community (in groups, classes, my neighborhood, etc.). You are correct: I am definitely not friends with every individual in my various communities. But the potential for friendship is there. So maybe this blog post should have been titled “Man’s Search for Friendship,” which for me happens to be through the process of finding community.

      • I actually think both are beneficial for a full and healthy life. I love my communities. I love my friendships. They’re different and wonderful. And they often overlap. But it’s not necessary for a real connection.

  3. I enjoyed reading both the blog and the responses/dialogue. The idea of both friendships and communities resonates with me. I used to consider the concept as different levels of friendships – work friends, neighborhood friends, child-related friends, etc. The concept of different communities makes more sense. I personally need lots of communities and the more “casual friendships” that come with those as well as the closer friendships that most often arise from those community contacts but are much fewer in nature – and survive the loss of contact with the community that happens as I pass through different stages in my life.

    • When I was in my twenties and thirties young, I had few, if any communities–just friends and groups of friends/acquaintances. At this age, I enjoy community. Not sure why age should make such a difference, but it does.

      • Maybe it is that when we’re very young, we have no choice—that we are forced into communities that can feel like a burden instead of a joy? After school, building our individual lives takes our focused attention. Now, we have the willingness and make time to reflect about the importance of our connections to others and are therefore motivated to find community?

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