photo © 2005 Kanko | more info (via: Wylio)Community is all around us, but we have to open our eyes to it. Recently I was at a local Starbucks before 7:00 a.m. Generally this is not the time that I am in Starbucks. I am usually leaving the house at that time. The folks who were sitting in the Starbucks were an interesting mix. Those who occupied the tables were all men, which made me wonder why men seem to congregate for breakfast. There were groups that obviously worked together as well as some who seem to meet just for the opportunity to share their morning. What was more interesting than those sitting at the tables was the line, the long line of folks who made a conscious choice to stop, get out of their cars, since this Starbucks has no drive thru, and come into Starbucks. It added another task to their mornings. Most of us do not want to add to our morning schedules. The only reason I was present was that I had to be somewhere at 6:00 a.m. and then nearby at 9:30 a.m.
My theory for why there was so much business what that this was about more than coffee. This gathering was about community. These individuals wanted to make a personal connection before beginning the work day. They may or may not have had family at home. They needed to feel a part of the larger community.
We all need that sense of connection. We need to know that we are a part of a group that is beyond our immediate family. We need to know that we have others in the world who choose to spend time with us, who care about us, and who we can share our lives with regularly.
Sometimes that community is easier to find and/or meet with than others. All of our efforts at being a community take at least some effort. How are you being a part your community? Are you spending time at a local gathering place, like Starbucks? Do you attend events in your community, like a community dinner? Are you helping others find a place where they can belong? Let us grow community by being a part of the community. Let us open our eyes to the possibility.