Getting Along

Living in community is hard. Sometimes it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It is very challenging. It is not easy, but it forces you (at least it did for me) to find a piece of yourself that you may not have known existed before.”
-Matt Maclay, L’Arche Community in Dublin, Ireland, Un

If everyone would simply agree that I am always right, then things would be just fine. I suspect that I am not the only person who has ever felt this way. We do think that we are correct. Why else would we think something or want to do it our way if we were not sure that our way is the right way? (Okay, maybe some of us argue sometimes just to annoy another person, but for the most part, we tend to hold our opinions because we believe that they are correct.)

We know that we are right. We have the right way of doing things, the right ideas, and we know best. The problem is that other people think the same way. They think that they have the right ideas and ways of doing things. This is where and how community can be difficult. Part of being in a community is learning to share leadership. We have to be open to accepting that sometimes things are done the way we think they should done and sometimes they are not. Sometimes our way is the best way, and the group is still going to do things a different way. Sometimes we have to let go of our need to be in control so that community may flourish.

If you are the one who always seems to be in charge, try letting someone else have a say. Empower others by not only allowing them to voice their idea, but to follow their ideas. You will find that there you are more fully a part of the community. They will be empowered. The community will grow stronger.

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