Saturday, October 10, 2009

community


Since my brother in law's death, I have repeatedly said, "My sister has a wonderful community."

It is true. My nephew's principal, teachers, counselor, after school program staff, friends, and parents of his friends made visits to the house. The school sent over a platter of sandwiches. His classmates made cards.

Neighbors brought food, entire meals, cleaned the road, and moved their cars to make room for visitors.

Many have offered specific things they are willing to do for my sister. Helpful hands & hearts reaching out in so many ways.

I looked up the word "community" on wikipedia. It stated that there are 94 discrete definitions of the term.

What definition was I referring to when I used the word?

I scrolled down to where it read, "sense of community".

Here is part of that section:


In a seminal 1986 study, McMillan and Chavis identify four elements of "sense of community": 1) membership, 2) influence, 3) integration and fulfillment of needs, and 4) shared emotional connection.



This is what I was feeling in my sister's NJ suburb. A sense of community. Each neighbor, parent, friend, teacher, childcare giver is a member of my sister's community. They each have an influence on each other's lives, especially the lives of the children. Each wants to make sure my nephews' and my sister's needs are met, ensure that they are OK. There was no doubt of an emotional connection between these community members, and my sister's family. Whether it was a hug, tear, bowl of chicken soup, or an invitation to Chuck E. Cheese, these people were sharing their emotions.

I don't even know these people, but I love them for loving my sister, and watching over my nephews. A wonderful community, no matter how one is defined.


Upon further reflection, I realized even in blogworld there is a sense of community. I have felt it from all of you. Complete strangers, brought together by a bond of a dog, a sport, a hobby, a photo, you name it. We share our lives, give advice, listen, laugh, and support each other through the good moments and our struggles. Yet, we live in different towns, states, countries and continents.

No wonder there are 94 definitions of community.

5 comments:

madcobug said...

Very good post Sara. Your sister does live in a great community and our blogs do make us feel like we are a community. Helen

hip dad said...

you've caught the spirit of what we saw and felt.

betty said...

I love that Community, too.
Your blogworld Community is special, too.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

It's great to know that there are good people in the world and I'm glad your sister has some people near her to count on so she doesn't have to feel all alone.

Sharing our lives through blogging has given us a sense of community that we never had before - it's amazing how strongly one can feel about people that are only known through blogs! (It's hard to put into words but hopefully you know what I mean).

Dawn said...

Very true. Friendships and support can develop through neighborhoods made of brick and pavement, or internet blog connections, modern day pen pals.