Our daughter, Carly, is good at being thoughtful when it comes to sending cards and giving gifts. Last year for my birthday, she gave me a subscription to the quarterly publication Kinfolk, a high-end publication that highlights beautiful photography and stories from around the world. If left to my own devices, I most likely would not have stumbled upon this publication.
This spring issue contained an inspiring article about community entrepreneurs. It was just the uplifting reminder that my soul needed. I have had many conversations lately about the importance of community. Recently, in one of my communities, we were talking about how to share resources and be mindful of supporting other local communities with our spending. In another conversation, we were struggling with where people can go to engage in community outside of churches, temples, synagogues and mosques. As our dependence on our screened devices grow, our knowledge and practice of physical community growth seems to diminish. The Kinfolk article was a good reminder that maybe I need to spend less screen time to see and involve myself in strong communities of mutual support.
The article highlighted people and projects such as Bread Furst, where founder Mark Furstenberg hopes his store's presence makes "it seem possible for others to open neighborhood stores." Then came the dynamic Amy Kaherl, the director and co-founders of Detroit SOUP. Her mission is to feed people, grow the soul of a city, and create community conversation by providing a space and venue where "people are meeting and sharing ideas, jobs are being created and people are doing amazing work in the community." Kaherl's good will in action made me want to open a Seattle SOUP tomorrow. Finally, the article highlighted Tina Roth Eisenberg's Creative Mornings. Eisenberg is clear that real connections take place when people meet face to face. In the article she says, "We shouldn't be living in isolated silos of just information architects or just graphic designers. Magic happens when all of our creative trades connect" and "trust breeds magic."
All these leaders are growing and fostering healthy community in creative and diverse ways. The more I read about ways of creating community, the more I remember that we truly need each other—that in our beautiful differences we grow together.
What communities do you belong to? How can your small communities impact the bigger communities around you? Is there an idea in some other place that you can replicate in your community?
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