A Recipe for Community

| 4/9/2013 12:23:15 PM

Community Building drawing
Most of us long for greater community feeling and action, but in our hyper-individualistic culture, community can be hard to find. Here are 16 ways to build and strengthen yours. 

This article originally appeared at Huffington Post.

Over the years I've watched people struggle to build community and community organizations in a culture that has become more and more hyper-individualistic. "What's in it for me?" trumps "What's happening with us?"

I've founded organizations from scratch (The International Documentary Association, aprofessional organization for documentary filmmakers) and served on the board of others. I've been a member of still more. Some have been more informal and/or countercultural (a Voluntary Simplicity Circle, a local permaculture guild, the early National Organization for Women) and some more traditional (our town's rose society). Some have survived and thrived; others have fallen away.

Most of us long for greater community feeling and action. And as we wake up to the enormity of the challenges we face in an era of degrading environmental, economic, political and social conditions, we instinctively know that unless we can come together to effectively create constructive change, we and our children may not survive.

So what does it take to build and sustain an effective community or organization? Humans have understood and used this social technology since we gathered around the campfire in the Paleolithic, but we in modern Western and westernized industrial cultures seem to have forgotten many of the basics.

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