First Reading Assignment/Reflections on Community

I just finished reading an excerpt for my studies from the book The Different Drum: Community Making and Peace by M. Scott Peck about community. It was interesting to learn that at least one other person from what is perhaps the most individualistic nation on the planet (the United States, of course) has spent a lot of time thinking about how to achieve true community.

Community is not something a person can possess. It is the manifestation of the best aspects of communalism and individualism (what Peck calls ‘soft individualism’) and must be nurtured over the long term. Community is fluid and, at times, transient. For me it has been a life-long search, but I cannot think of anything more important to seek out. It’s the need that meets all other needs.

In fact, I was talking about the concept of community in our introduction exercises this morning. I told everyone that the thing I needed the most from them was community, which for me includes sharing, support, humor, and love, especially. I also shared a poem about my hometown, a paragon of mindless individualism exemplified by the need to soup one’s car up to the point where it can ‘beat’ all others on the road.

Here is the poem:

I come from…

The well-manicured lawns and two-car garages in front of lifeless, box-shaped houses

The roaring engines of motorcycles, cars without mufflers, and lawn mowers.

Meatloaf, green beans, mashed potatoes, and a mother that demanded I eat everything on the plate.

I come from Pepsi and Doritos. 

…Lately I come from Rum and Coke.

I come from motor oil, cigarette smoke, incense and peppermints.

I come from a neighborhood so dull that everything I do is a novelty.

I come from opportunity.


1 Comment

  1. Patty Courtney said,

    September 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm


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