The expanding definition of community

                So what is a community anyways? There’s several definition of community, of course, but it might be helpful, in considering our subject matter to do some defining in this particular post.

            There is, of course, our most immediate community, that is the one most commonly defined, that is our city, town, county, or region. This community is made up of individuals who live in close proximity to one another, probably interact with each other, may set up a local government, and so forth. This community is immediate, so we can automatically see this as a community.

            Perhaps in our communities, we might belong to organizations such as civic groups or places of worship. This, also, is a community. These people may be people we interact with on a regular basis, but may not see every day. Still, this group likely has and/or seeks a common purpose and perhaps has central tenants.

            While we may not have the same type of governability as a government, family and friends can also form a community (a group of friends perhaps forming a looser sense of community than a family unit, but still a community). Parents, for example, ideally have rules and expectations for their children to ensure their well-being and success. Likewise, hopefully children have strong enough bonds with their parents and potential siblings to wish for their success and may find a need to enact some sort of care (or even supervision) over parents as they grow older. Friend units have, perhaps, a looser bond of community, one tied to care and common bonds, but can still form a type of community.

            Our nation may form a larger community. Ideally, there are things holding together the nation as well. While it is on a much larger level than the community (e.g. there is less association with daily life), there probably exists at least some common bonds and / or principles. Certainly, there are some cases where this is not the case, but there usually at least is a common government trying to impose these standards.

            Finally, the world can be a community as well. That is, as fellow human beings, we need to be concerned with others if they are close by or whether they are far away. Perhaps, it could be argued that the interconnectedness that the Internet and advances in transportation has made this easier even for individuals who may not be especially wealthy in monetary terms. This doesn’t mean that we have to consider everything everyone else is doing, but it does give us a larger ethical duty toward our fellow human beings.

            This blog’s purpose is to explore community and all that entails. There are many definitions of community, but these forms are essential to forming our human experience. Sometimes, we won’t agree on everything and this is okay. We do need to more closely examine how our lives are linked together. Community is tough work, there’s likely going to be conflict, but we must explore our common bonds as a people and be able to co-exist on this planet.


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