Build Your Community Super Powers
By both giving and receiving
We are communal beings. We were created to be with others. After having to isolate from others for an extended period of time, COVID taught us how much we value being with groups of people. Things that we find precious, we assure ourselves we will hold tight and maintain that special feeling. But over time those feelings fade and start to become normal and routine. Let’s not let our desire and need for being together fade and become normal or routine. Instead, let’s build our Community Super Powers.
What is Community?
Community is a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. It is a feeling of fellowship with others.
Community can be your church group, your sports team, your work department, your neighbors in your cul-de-sac, your friends from high school. When they are strong communities, these groups of people help you feel welcome, a sense of belonging, support, camaraderie, joy, maybe even pride.
Give and Receive
Sometimes we are in communities because we landed there - like a work department. It may be something we tolerate or enjoy. Sometimes we choose to be part of the community - like when we participate in a men’s Bible group or join a Krav Maga class. We make the effort to go, talk with others in attendance and share some of ourselves as we learn. In these cases, we both give and receive. Let’s look at both giving and receiving and focus on ways to build each of them.
Giving in our individual groups is important to building the strength of the community. If members of the community are not invested in the group, the group can weaken and perhaps disband. But if the members of the community give of themselves, the group can thrive and flourish. There are many ways to give. One could be monetary, by donating to the group or by providing resources - a place to meet, food for the meeting, materials or books. Some people are organizers and give their talent and skills. Some people give their ideas, their energy, their positivity, their enthusiasm. Others give support, attention, their presence, intangibles that are important as well.
There are many ways to give of your time, talent and treasure. It is typically found that the more you give, the more you receive. This may seem counterintuitive until you experience it. Once you do, you will experience the gift of giving. Keeping balance is important too, however. Maintain your health and wellbeing so that you can continue giving.
To build your Community Super Powers on the giving side, start a habit this month that you continue the rest of the year. Consider building your giving strength by donating to a cause you believe in, a fundraiser, a homeless person on the roadside. Give a listening ear, full attention to the person speaking, your best self. See where you excel and get the most satisfaction. Make a plan or set a reminder to do it again and again and again.
For a community to be strong, there must be both give and take. People must give, but people must also receive. Many of us see it as a weakness to ask or receive, yet it is important for the balance in a community. It helps the givers feel valued. Receiving also strengthens the foundation of a community and gives purpose to the group.
To build your Community Super Powers on the receiving side, don’t be afraid. Be specific. Ask for help. It is unreasonable that one person should know how to do everything. Think of an area you can ask for help. Allow others to demonstrate their skills and strengths by sharing with you.
It really struck me one day when a friend was standing next to me and watching what I was doing. She said to me, “Are you going to struggle or ask for help?!” Asking for help was not an option on my radar. It is now.
In the groups you belong to, think about your roles. Be a supporter and a giver, but also be an asker and a receiver and watch your Community Super Powers grow!
Thank you for reading.
Wishing you beauty and joy, kindness and compassion and a strong community.
This month’s Super Powers focus is on improving our community. Next month is about family life.
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It’s time to start building your Super Powers!
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