Sunday, June 21, 2009

What does Community Mean to me...revised

Several years ago, when I was a new writer on Newsvine, I was shown the value of community and wrote of it there. The original article was entitled "What does Community Mean to You." It was written during a time of extreme stress and crisis as I was at the beginning of a journey to be shared with my mother. In the two years since it was written. I have occasionally considered doing a revised version, an update on my life and hers. Mainly this is because I have Google Analytics on my Newsvine column and the original pops up in a search at least once a week. I happened to be looking at the recent stats on the site yesterday. And please, that note there was really no particular need for me to do so. You see, I am not submitting much to that site anymore. I think I was mainly curious to see if I had reached "0" hits for the day. I saw that, on Friday June 19, 2007, I had 5 hits. I dug further to see what was being read and was not surprised to find that the "Community" article I had written two years ago popped up. The surprise, however, was that two hits came from Iran, more specifically, Tehran. In the midst of all of the chaos, someone felt a need and did a Google search using the terms " community what you mean."

We are all each in our communities, citizens of a greater world. But, in the past week we have been reminded of how close we all are as we have been made witnesses to the extreme situation in Iran by way of Twitter and Facebook. Technology has made the world a much smaller place and we as individuals can have an "effect" and at the same time be "affected" by it. We have all become witness to history as global change is occurring a half a world away. Whether we like it or not, we each as individuals are also part of this change. At some point on Friday last, someone in the midst of a great crisis reached out in search and found my article. It doesn't appear by the stats that they stayed long, but they did later return. I can only wonder as to the affect of the words in my article.

I don't know if I can easily answer the question I posed on this article today. You see, my answer is different daily. It depends on my circumstances at the time. One thing I do know is that we as a people in this human race are all interconnected in ways that we might not always be aware of at the time. Our simple interactions with each other on a daily basis can at times have profound effects and we may never know about it.

I have been blessed in the two years since I wrote the original article. The situation has changed for my mother, who was the subject of the first article. I wrote of how individuals in her community assisted her so that she, at 90 years of age, was able to continue living in her home. Two years later it is no longer possible for my mother to live independently. She now resides in a nursing home in her small community and is being lovingly cared for by friends of mine and by the grown children and grandchildren of friends and neighbors of hers. Every time I visit her I am reminded of that community. Four years ago last week, my dad died in that same nursing home. The community was there for him then as well as for me.

So now, back to the greater question. What does Community mean to me? Right now, I feel part of this greater community as I have seen the events unfold and watched as the Internet community has reached out to assist in any way possible to the citizens of Iran who are part of our digital world. Personally, I felt the need to reach out last night myself as I was emotionally drained from an interaction with another Internet friend. I was again blessed as a "twitter' friend answered and helped comfort me in the the very wee hours of the morning when I was feeling very alone.

We are all part of this greater world community and it is imperative that we remember that. With each person that we meet individually in the communities in which we live or digitally across the vast expanse of the world by way of the Internet, we must remember to treat everyone with respect. If you have the opportunity to help someone, just reach out and do it. You may never know the effect of your action, but if we all practiced this each in our own communities, in our own interactions whether digitally or in person, we can and will change this world and make it a better place. This is what "Community" means to me.

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Blogger azsky13 said...

I woke this morning around 4am with about 3 hours of sleep and was compelled to write this. Sometimes the words will not let me sleep. I tried to proof it, but I may of missed things. Please be gentle in this regard. And now, I am going back to bed...

June 21, 2009 at 6:13 AM  
Blogger Rottlady of the Ozarks said...

Some very powerful words here Mary, I pray the world finds some peace soon.

June 21, 2009 at 5:10 PM  

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