Thursday, November 27, 2008

Community and Individuality

This is one that I know. I've lived it, I'm living it to some degree now, and I intend to keep living it.

I spent five years living in an intentional community, I currently live in a co-op house, and I hope to live in community again. What attracts me about all of this is the balance between the individual and the group. A group of individualists would have little real sense of community, but any group without a lot of individuality would be a mob or a cult, not a community in the sense I'm talking about. Neither holds any interest for me. I believe that community exists in the tension between the needs of the individual and the needs of the group. If the individual or the group predominates, the living, thriving sense of community disappears.

Interestly enough, the complexity scientists talk about this very issue, describing it as a balance between autonomy and connectivity.

Really, both community and individuality are needed.

Quote of the day: "Only through our connectedness to others can we really know and enhance the self. And only through working on the self can we begin to enhance our connectedness to others." - Harriet Goldhor Lerner
Word (or phrase) of the day: Financial Permaculture
Hero(es) of the day: Mary Ellen Pleasant

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