The other day, I was watching a mockingbird relentlessly attacking a cat. The mockingbird viewed the cat as a threat to its family. The cat was calmly walking, ignoring the bird. At other times, the cat is intimidated and disappears.
Recently, in a superhero movie, one hero whined to another that an aggressive player in his video game was calling him bad names. The more dominant superhero picked up the headset and on general chat (in the game) blessed out the offending player for the verbal abuse of his friend. Community.
On the vehicular street, I see people “let others in” to the flow of traffic. But at many other times, I see fists shaking, mouths flapping, heads wagging and finger signals.
I understand that I cannot control others. Oops! When I try to control others, I get fear and resentments as a result. Unmet expectations. So what can I do, prayerfully, in consideration of my needs and the needs of others? What can I do without resentment? What must I accept, before unrealistic expectations destroy me? What is my role? What is my niche? Am I graciously assisting others in learning the same?
My father reminded me not to be “A bull in a China closet!” Working on it, Dad!
As I was walking this morning, I was partaking of an uplifting video on “being couples.” I heard the speaker talk about the importance of listening. More importantly, I believe the gentleman was simply talking about what it takes to make “community.” Perhaps the implication is that living with a person for a lifetime requires the ultimate “community.”
He explained how we, as humans are now living longer, and expected roles for each other are rapidly changing. His suggestions included giving music lessons to children as their parents shop in the grocery store. He talked about language-learning dialogue along the way as an important component of building community. Community “on the fly.” As we go along. One day at a time.
Back in the late 1990’s, I was in great need. I can remember going to the local Hispanic restaurant and carrying a Spanish/English dictionary. At that time, many of the waiters and waitresses were wanting to learn English as bad as I wanted to learn Spanish. This “window” of time was a powerful forge for learning myself as a diner and my for friends working in the restaurant. Many friendships were created along the way. They have since far outpaced me in their learning.
As I have studied Blue Zones, areas where people are long-lived, “community” is one of the keys to thriving.
So how do we create community? How do we “live and let live?”
Attributes that could lead to community:
Love: familial, brotherly, romantic.
Joy: knee slapping expressions of delight! The glow of contentment in life. Gratitude.
Peace: serenity, the peace that passes understanding. Acceptance.
Patience: expectations of oneself and others.
Goodness: understanding the unwritten and unwritten code(s) of what is good and bad. Self-inventory.
Kindness: reaching out, forgiveness.
Faithfulness: to people, to commitments, to oneself.
Gentleness: to treat others as I would wish to be treated.
Self-control: what is best for the community?
As a living component of my habitat, do I create peace and harmony? If not, why not? What are the solutions? What can I personally implement, just for today?
Brother Barnes : ]