Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Back to community

I have strayed a little so now back to community development - well to the community bit.

Communities are communities because there share something. It is often about sharing geographic space as with a local neighbourhood but it may also be a sense of shared experience (as with people who have a certain disability) or a shared approach to life (as with faith communities).

We can be torn apart by focusing on those things that we don't share - by our differences. And we can be put back together again by focusing on those things that we do share.

One of the things that we did at our local Meeting House was to agree on some values - the ones that we hoped that we shared. First what do we mean by a value? I see values as describing words - like adjectives and adverbs. It's not who we are or what we do but how we are and how we do things. It is our principles which define the 'what' and the values which describe the 'how'.

We came up with six values

** Welcoming
** Friendly
** Open
** Respecting
** Caring
** Comfortable

We hope that all we do is done in the spirit of these values and do ask new people if their experience reflects our values. Values are for testing and reminding us of our commitments to each other and to the wider world.

Perhaps if you are stuck and want to move forwards but feel perhaps like an un-community, it would be worth taking time to focus on the very real and very valuable things that you share together. Then as mentioned in the Solutions Focused posting you build on those good things that you share to develop your community.

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