Blog post #9: The power of community

In Lüneburg I had the chance to live for the first time in something one can call a community. People around shared and/or similar values gathered in a space. In this case to live consciously together. The location was a house. The space of community, however, is interpersonal. It´s a sense of belonging.

It´s a feeling of connection.

Thanks to the Social dimension of Gaia Education’s Design for Sustainability course I met, among many other great people (!), Dominic Barter, known for restorative circles, “a community process for supporting those in conflict”. A sentence from our live call that sticked to me is: “Conflict occurs where there is disconnection”. Not only are we sometimes disconnected from each other – sometimes we are also disconnected from ourselves.

A dear person reminded me of something writer Paolo Coehlo stated:

„… The great aim of every human being is to understand the meaning of total love. Love is not to be found in someone else, but in ourselves; we simply awaken it. But in order to do that, we need the other person. The universe only makes sense when we have someone to share our feelings with.“

There lies power in community. To move things. And maybe first of all, to move things internally. I am currently enjoying Ken Robinson´s book “The Element. How finding your passion changes everything” which is written as hilariously as he speaks in his TEDtalk Do schools kill creativity?

He talks about “tribes”, writing

“When tribes gather in the same place, the opportunities for mutual inspiration can become intense. In all domains, there have been powerful groupings of people who have driven innovation through their influence on each other and the impetus they´ve created as a group” (p. 121).

Reading this I knew exactly where I have first found “my tribe”: Doing my Master in Environmental Studies and Sustainability Science at Lund University. No matter what crazy ideas were aired – ideas were nurtured. In being critiqued, discussed, expanded, explored, … and ultimately dared to be realized.

 “Finding you tribe can have transformative effects on your sense of identity and purpose. This is because of three powerful tribal dynamics: validation, inspiration, and what we´ll call here the ‘alchemy of synergy” (p.114)

Having found my tribe, my community, has already allowed me several times to turn what others might call craziness into reality. And maybe like that new paths are created. Because I believe, whoever said this first,

If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.”

I, as an individual, am having the chance to grow thanks to the power of community. And only as awakened individuals will we be able to look ahead together, identifying new ways forward together, worthwhile being walked, together.

…a song which accompanied us, COOPERIDE. We had a shared visionbiking from Copenhagen to Paris to the Climate Summit 2015. And we made it, connecting places, people and perspectives along the way. It was on this trip where I discovered that home is not a physical place but a feeling. It is a feeling of connection.

A THANK YOU to all those communities I can count myself to. You allow me to find home within myself.

*Reference: Robinson, Ken and Aronica, Lou (2009) The Element. How finding your passion changes everything. Viking Penguin.

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