What makes up a community? Is it geography, shared interests, or perhaps something more (or even something less)? I reflect upon this as I feel I am a part of so many communities. I am part of the Fargo/Moorhead community generally and the West Fargo community more specifically. I am part of the academic community generally and the NDSU community more specifically. I am part of the emergency management community and part of about a dozen other communities within that larger community. I am part of more obscure communities as well. I am a part of the “strong woman” community and the “parenting” community and the “I believe we can change the world” community. I am part of so many communities and in each community there are folks that I share something with – be it beliefs, interests or experiences.
Community is a big concept that can include so much, but for me it ideally includes this notion of inclusivity or belonging. Sure, there are those who will argue that one can be geographically in a community and not “belong”, but that is not my definition of community herein. I think of this concept – community – every morning as I write my blog as I view Area Voices as a community.
I find the Area Voices community to be such an interesting community. So many different voices that dwell within a multitude of other communities with diverse interests and beliefs and yet they gather here as I do…what, pray tell, binds us? Why do we gather here? What is our commonality? Do not look to me for answers to these questions – I am still pondering them myself.
I think there are some who see Area Voices as merely a venue for message distribution and who are not on the whole bound to the community, but there are many others who are connected within this community – who “belong”. I feel like I “belong” in this community and I am fascinated with the sense that I am part of such an eclectic and vibrant community that is comprised solely of interaction via the written word and photographs. I am not even sure why it is that I “belong”, but I like it here and I am happy that I feel I am a part of the community.
I really like a lot of the folks in this community. I have never met the vast majority of them, but I can tell you more about them than I can tell you about folks in my other communities. I find it intriguing that this community creates a depth that doesn’t exist in other communities where face-to-face contact is the norm. I feel quite close to some of these bloggers, yet we never work together on projects, we aren’t out in the public crusading for the same causes, we don’t have lunch together, and we are not connected physically in the day-to-day world. Yet, emotionally and psychologically I feel a connection to the folks in this community and I have come to care about their well-being…truly fascinating.
I treasure being part of the Area Voices community – I like it here and I feel like I “belong”. I am not sure why I “belong” or what it really is that makes this community so compelling to me, but I know that this community seems more tightly knit than many of my other communities and I like that. This is clearly a study in the complexity of human connectivity that I am sure could be quite logically explained by my sociologist friends, but I don’t need a sociological analysis to explain why this is a community and why I like it here – some things just are – appreciate them and move on. And so I do – appreciate and move on that is – have a lovely day all!
Day one hundred and fourteen of the new forty – obla di obla da