Asterisk Monthly: About Communities [May, 2020]
Writing Prompt: Community
The Asterisk Project is back like nothing ever happened. Expect everything happened. But here we are with some new people and the good old ones. So on May, 2020 I thought we should write about COMMUNITIES.
I asked what people thought about the communities they had been/are a part of. This could be their neighborhood, their soccer team, church, family or any other community (online or in person) that means something to them.
Communities, we’re all surrounded by these macroorganisms. We usually define ourselves by them.
We’re doctors, lawyers, writers, officers, nurses, etc. Our professions’ titles embed a sense of community. We’re loyal to a set of principles brought to us by the vow we take when we graduate.
Also, we’re straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, etc. Our gender identity or sexual orientation fit in a broad spectrum of identities and orientations. We defend our right to exist in the world, based on our place in this matter.
Some of us may think all definition is a constraint. Some of us are right to think so.
Some of us may also think that, by defining ourselves, we’re placing a statement into the world: we exist and we demand respect based on the place we occupy and on the importance of our mere existence. Some of us are right to think so, as well.
Communities are these pieces of social sets to which we feel we belong. Communities lead us to social bubbles — that’s a fact -, but they also allow us to connect deeply to our peers.
More importantly, our communities strenghten us by the union of our individual forces towards mutual goals. When we vote; when we protest; when we start a crowdfunding campaign; when we stay at home and encourage other people to do so, in the face of a pandemics; we’re united by a sense of self-preservation of our communities, be it local, country-wide or global.
The point is: our communities determine our actions, to a very high extent.
However, let’s stop and think about something here: what have you been doing to make your communities broader, more inclusive?
After long years of trying to fit in communities that had no space for me I’ve finally found the courage to create a community of my own.
After long years of being a happy follower I could finally feel the joy and the fear of standing as a leader in my community.
After long years by myself I am now part of many communities — always excited to find new ones to be a part of.
Being able to share the experience of being alive is a gift I’ll never take for granted.
I’m part of different communities at personal and professional levels, but today I want to talk about the micro-community that my husband, my brother and I formed during this pandemic. The three of us were caught by surprise when talks of quarantine started and for over two months now we’ve been isolated from others as a tiny group living in the same home. It wasn’t something we planned at all. My brother came to visit us and was supposed to stay only for a few weeks. But soon his flight was cancelled, things happened, and we had to adapt, as a lot of people in the world. This pandemic has been tough, but somehow it made all of us part of a new community, a huge one, formed by the people who are practicing social distancing and taking care of themselves and others that way.
Anyway, I’m grateful that these guys are here with me, the two men I love the most, supporting each other from the danger that seems to exist outside. It hasn’t been easy, though. We are three different people and sometimes each one of us just wants some space. Some “me” time. Luckily, the house has enough room for our comfort, and yet it has brought us closer on several occasions. We are together when we share a meal in the living room, watching funny videos on the television. We are together when we take in the sun on our huge balcony and chat about life. Even when we are all working on our computers, at the same room yet not talking or interacting. Even then, we are together in silence and the feeling that if something happens we’ll not be alone is really reassuring.
I hope this coronavirus experience will make us value more the power that communities, small or large, have. I hope it will lead us to be there for each other, with pandemics or without them, and teach us to prioritize people over material things. At the end of day, when you’re living a difficult situation (or a historical moment, as some people say), the only thing you really want is to count on another human being to back you up and make you feel accompanied.
The meaning of community will never be the same. The feeling of belonging somewhere will never be able to hide the fear of no longing be part of something, even if the first feeling’s bigger than the second one. Empathy are being the real fuel to lay down on the pillow and not suffocate with the egoism. The meaning of community will never be the same — as the communities.
Few years ago when I was still playing video games I was in a few friendly game communities. We talked not only about gaming but we had a lot of fun talking about real life, telling each other jokes or just being a smart ass and irritating everyone else in other teams. We didn’t knew each other in person but we still knew quite a lot. Where we worked where we lived. Some people lived in crisis countries where was war, conflicts and similar bad situations. Those people from community were really friendly helped me learn real life stuff like a basic programming even if I don’t code anymore I still value that they spent they own valuable time to teach someone who they knew just a little. And it makes me wonder how it’s possible that there is such a good people.
I think this is what communities should be about — about having fun and helping each other and I’m really glad that I saw that good side of people who made me realize that I should help more often too.
Community made us evolve but this concept was transformed into a machine that wants to minimize us for money. I like to believe people will wake up one day and realize selfishness is not an option anymore.
We are very thankful to have this community back. Writing can be a sacred practice — a therapy even but it’s much better doing it together. Thank you for those who participated!
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