What is it? How do we do it?
Community is an environment, like social media is an environment. But, here’s the catch: you can’t be in two environments at the same time. We’ve been hoodwinked into thinking we can, though. I see kids with their phones plugged into their faces at restaurants all the time. I’ve been guilty of this, too. My family finally had to sit me down and ask me if I truly wanted to spend time with them at supper or did I want to eat upstairs in my room so I could be on social media. (Just for y’all reading between the lines, that question was a face-plant for my ego.)
In order to have community, you have to be willing to show up. I mean, SHOW UP.
Some of us think we are in community, but really we are only in proximity of it. True community requires commitment and openness. You’ll know when you’re in community because you’ll experience a willingness to extend yourself to encounter and know the other.
For the past few years, I’ve been dropping seeds of community. Watching, and waiting, to see which ones sprout. A strong community has deep roots. And that’s what I’m after in every situation I put myself in. I’m not great at it and that’s why I keep after it. Practice is something that isn’t lost on me. I practice being open with others. I practice talking and sharing my life. I sometimes even throw some jokes in there. I’m funny when I don’t try to be.
My first name is Deborah but I go by Ann because I dislike others calling me “Debbie.” I love it when I show up to an event flooded with human beings and I hear someone call out “Ann.” It’s pretty grounding when you know you have people that you can call your own. That’s how I see community. That’s why I build it every chance I get. (Thank you, Cathy Ohh, for calling me out amongst the crowd!)
My children are the best of the best in my world. I’m very careful what I expose them to. They have this unrelenting belief that the world is a beautiful place and full of good people. I don’t want to disappoint them so I only take them to places where I know good people are. Yesterday, I took them to the Lezfinity Annual BBQ & Kickball picnic. Lots of good people were there. We had a lot of fun. I was really happy to see a bunch of women that I didn’t know. I was even happier to be so warmly embraced by the founders of Lezfinity, Julez DeLeon and Tina DeLeon.
Hit me up if you’re interested in getting more plugged in and are looking to meet some fantastic human beings.
SHOW UP for someone today. It’ll change your life!