Community is a funny thing. Some people will openly welcome anyone into the community while others put up strict rules. Sitting in Starbucks on Monday night I watched one group, they were cordial and said hello, they interacted with me and my kiddo. They talked about intelligent ideas and solutions to problems they were facing. Yet at the park after school, the group of mom’s said not a single word to us. They gossiped and griped about people. The rub of that was they had a special needs kiddo in the playgroup too.
When I pulled the three of cups today my first thought was how isolated I was when my kiddo came home from the hospital. He was so different, and the memories of rejection from communities that were supposed to welcome people with open arms stung each time I took a breath or tried to approach a new group. I know that my unease and lack of confidence only fed the prejudice.
Somehow I managed to build a stable community in the Alternative Lifestyle community for a few years. Then watched it fall apart. A vocal minority of the members wanted to have a more formal and structured group. The rules excluded people, under the guise of protecting the members. Some of the rules made sense, but the family structure the community had been built as fractured and cliques did the rest.
Fear isolates people more than anything. Today we face a huge problem. We as a society spend a vast amount of time forming communities that we will never meet in person. This in itself isn’t a problem. Where this becomes a problem is when people who are so lonely they create a construct in their mind to back up the myth they have created.
How can we help people who feel isolated, create communities that will support them?
Can you imagine a world, where community and support is available and accessible to those who live in fear of rejection?