A friend of mine explained why the goat and the cow he owns does not live in his backyard and in doing so, shared with me a valuable lesson: for herd animals, such as cows (or humans), it is stressful to be isolated and wellness necessitates some degree of community. Since then the lesson has grown on me. I’ve grown to better recognize the place of the hermit-personality and of the community in one’s life. This post shares a little bit about the role and value of community in my life.
Community manifests in a variety of ways. For me, networking has stood out as of late.
Networking can mean a lot of things. It is the verb meaning to connect as or operate with a network. What is a network? Let’s break the word down into net-work and consider each of those words: the ultimate cumulative (net-) activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result (work).
Networking for me has been a way of feeling community. In the midst of moving between transitory residences, jobs and studies, there is not much in the way of traditional community developed with neighbors over time. Communicating with those who live near me and who have similar interests, working toward similar goals, has helped me form networks which create potential for further communication and combined efforts even if we are not planted next to one another or even within close enough distance for a daily visit. In this way, I experience community and some of the benefits of a traditional one such as giving and taking (sharing), discussing and introducing (socializing [and further networking]), and expanding awareness through sharing experiences and skills.
Why do I share this in this post? To give recognition to the above, and now to give thanks for it and every individual who participates in networks with me. Whether it is a one-on-one conversation, a once-in-a-life-time acquaintance, a daily, weekly, or monthly meeting; it is a blessing to work with my peers on the growth of one and all.