What is community? I ask myself this a lot because I want to be able to make it and build it and strengthen it. In the past week, I’ve seen so many answers to this question and the most amazing part is that although I’m observing it, I’m also part of it.
Community is mourning the loss of a great souls, mentors and friends. Telling stories, keeping them alive and celebrating the life they’ve lived. Always a time cut too short, they’ll forever live in us and in our memories.
Community is seeing people who’ve worked their ass off get somewhere and celebrating it with them. It’s knowing that people hold special talents and ingenious creativity and helping them get to where they want or need to be.
Community is seeing all the hardship happening and deciding that you want to do something about it. It’s organizing events, meet-ups, or a time to be together to lean on each other for love and support.
Community is challenging the status quo and encouraging other people to do the same. It’s standing up to authority in the name of people other than yourself. It’s asking the right questions and helping people to understand the fact that not everyone may be looking out for their best interests.
Community is asking if family members are OK because people know you have loved ones in countries hit hard by natural disasters. Backgrounds don’t matter or what country you were born in, people are suffering and someone you love may be affected.
Community is checking in on one another and making sure that you’re getting through everything with sanity in tact. Whether it’s to ask how they’re doing, sending virtual hugs, prayers and good vibes, positive thoughts and feelings go a long way.
Community is not defined by location or ethnicity. Community is not confined by blood. Community doesn’t just stay in the ‘hood and die in the burbs. Community is not just organizing for the good fight or just in the streets during a protest.
Community is love, compassion and a shared strength. When I look at my community I am proud and feel empowered. I see people who have my back. I see people that I’ve supported since day one get to where they want to be. I share stories with amazing folks who are shaking up the world– reporting on it, painting it, telling its stories, singing its songs, uniting its people, helping the less fortunate and documenting our journey on it.
Here’s to my community.