Small Community is Good Community

Published: 2023-02-28 12:00 |

Category: Life | Tags: technology, living, groups, learning

Community is on my mind today and I think it's because of three different, but related, experiences I've had in the last couple of days.

I'm reading Hannah Coulter for the first time and a large portion of this book is the idea of The Membership. We're members of our communities. Sometimes, this is by default (family). Other times, it's by adoption or in shared interests and goals. It's an allegory, but the point is that you are free to leave the community at the same rate it is possible to join others. There is loss when members of the community decide to leave and that's something my wife and I talk about a lot, especially raising our kids with an ethic of doing good work.

In academia, this is called situated cognition or situated learning. You have to be in the culture of the thing you're learning in order to fully appreciate the implications of that skill or behavior. We're teaching our children the value of good work by doing good work. It's part of how we live day to day. The fruits are starting to show in the older girls and our prayer is that the values we're living are kept in some way by the kids as they grow. Hannah has the same prayer.

The point is that these lived experiences can be learned. I didn't grow up as a beekeeper, coder, artist, or flower farmer. Those are all things I have pushed into intentionally. I want to know the culture of those activities and the only way to do that as a learner is to push in. I'm imitating behavior and learning to act within the norms of those communities.

The other day, I did a small sketch of the field out back. I was happy with that step and then decided to add some watercolor. I was not happy with that result. I made a small post comparing the two without expecting anything and I got encouragement and advice from the community. Wisdom comes through the lived experiences.

We're built for small communities. I'm appreciating the depth of experience you can find in smaller spaces.

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