Community was a keyword in my doctoral thesis work on Waldorf education. Unlike in the conventional school, where the word was parent involvement. Community stood out to me. It seemed to be so critical to the experience people felt when the entered the wall of the school. A feeling of community, is what they said. What exactly does community feel like? People described it as a feeling of coming home, a warm blanket or hug, grandma's cooking. What if we created a caring community in our own neighborhood?
Community is a powerful word. It implies an equality of members. Unlike organization, which implies people have certain roles, and usually those are dicated by a hierarchy, community has an organic self-organizing essence at its core. It also feels like helpfulness, caring and support go hand and hand with the work of community.
I remember when I first bought this house, what seems like so long ago, although it was less than 3 years. It came after the passing of my step-mom Sue, who was the greatest supporter in my life. The gift she left was a chance to create a legacy.
I remember when I was considering a few options of how to invest the money she left. I kept hearing in my head, "What else are you going to do with it?"
I thought that was kind of sarcastic, and well, I agreed. At the time I had not many ideas of what to do with money. I had never before had any to play with. What is interesting to me, is that when I finally came up with the plan to open the Community Houses, there was no little sarcastic voice. I guess I finally knew that this was what I was intended to do with the gift Sue left me.
What more beautiful way to honor her memory. She gave me a home and safe place to live. She gave me guidance, support and direction. She gave me a sense of safety and unconditional love. What if that were possible for everyone. I have a dream that when people know each other and owrk in community we can live in a beautiful world. I hope!