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Friday, January 5, 2007

Creativity / Community


“People have to feel connected to care, and that does not come in a place of so many different communities, so many of which are now bedroom communities.”

This is a quote that has come out of a discussion over one of my previous posts. While the author of this quote was discussing Seattle, I believe his statement is true of not only our current city, but of our world.

As the world continues to globalize, ironically, there are increasing numbers of specialized communities. In other words, as the world gets smaller, a gay basket weaving African American can find hundreds of other gay basket weaving African Americans. You can get on MySpace, Bebo, TagWorld, or Hi5 and you can find others who are exactly like you. I can get online and find a married, Cubs fan, who is over six feet tall, who’s name is Jarrod (or jared, or jarod, or jarred) and we could start our own facebook group.

As this happens, the world does get smaller, yet it creates further division. If I embrace these specialized communities I could avoid Asians all together. I could never talk to a White Sox fan. I could avoid everyone that voted for Al Gore. I could never speak to a homosexual. I can do that if I choose. Why? Because I can stay within my niche communities. This lack of diversity kills true community.

Whether a family, a city, a church, or a country…community will continue to be misinterpreted as it becomes easier to find “your kind”.

We must find ways to welcome diversity. We must fight the temptation to only associate with those who define themselves in similar ways. We must not just sit at the jock table in the cafeteria…we need to make our way over the “too smart for honors classes” table. We must leave our “bedroom communities” and enter into the family room where we can mingle with many.

Only as we do these things will we find connection…and only here will we begin to care. I believe that that connection and care, mixed with creativity, will lead to world changing, positive influence.

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