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October 2018

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Family, Friends, and Community

[I've done a little editing for clarity]
A while ago I posted about my lack of community. And a couple of people commented back about family, friends, and social circles. I just want to clarify that family and friends are not the same as a community.

I do feel that a few people I considered friends did betray me but I would not have left that community over a personal matter between ex-friends. My close friends stood by me. I feel that the community as a whole betrayed me not just a few individuals.

I have come to see that I have betrayal "issues". I can disagree and fight with people a lot and still be friends with them as long as I don't feel that I am betrayed.

I give trust quickly and very easily, but once my trust is betrayed I don't give it back. I don't think I "hold grudges", to me "holding a grudge" means being angry and wanting revenge. Loss of trust is different, "once bitten twice shy" is not a grudge it is a wise precaution. I remember those people and situations that have betrayed me and try to avoid them in the future.


I have a family. Both my parents are still living and they are good parents. I know they love me, and they are willing and able to help me out when I need help. I have four sisters. I am closer to some than to others but blood is thicker than water. I wouldn't describe my family as close, but we are dutiful and loyal, we respond to the ties of blood.


I have friends. A healthy person has many levels of friendship, and I do. I have a few very close friends, more semi-close friends, and a whole lot of acquaintances of various levels. I also have different spheres of friends: distant friends (people I am always happy to see but haven't seen in a long time), LJ friends (who I have never met IRL), festival friends (who I only see once a year at most), other situational friends (people I know because we are thrown together for other reasons). I am categorizing because I like to categorize. But generally when I interact with people I don't think of them by category I just have an internal sense of how close I feel to them based on our entire history of previous interactions.


Community is something else.

A community is not a circle of friends. A community is a larger group that includes people who do not like or even know each other.[The word community is also used to refer to any collection subjects having one unifying characteristic. I acknowledge that definition exists but it is not the one I am using.] the word community seems to have two forces acting on it. It is larger than any single group (that might be within it) but smaller than any larger group (that it might be within). [I think my basic objection to the "circle of friends" is that is too small of a group. A community is a large group I'm thinking at least 50-100 depending on what sort of community it is.]

A single Coven is not a Pagan community. A Pagan Community must include autonomous individuals or groups (directly effected by) (actively engaged with) each other as Pagans.

A community is not a single institution. For instance a university is a business organization of managers and employees. But the university community includes the managers, employees, students (customers), their service providers and families. The community is not just the institution but the people (directly effected by) (actively engaged with) the institution.

A Community Organization is an institution that has as it's purpose the serving the needs of all the people who share a common characteristic (a community), regardless of their membership in the organization. i.e. Jewish Community Center, Gay Community Center, Women's Community Center.

(I feel that this is true, and I can't think of any contradicting examples but I would be willing to rephrase if I have erred.)

Comments

Oh.. that was something different. I got engadged and then my fiance dumped me. That really sent me for a loop.

Communicating in writting is very difficult. I didn't mean this post to be critical of you. I am just trying to clarify my own distinctions. In my experience close friends are not family. I usualy like my friends more then I like most of my family. On the other hand my friends don't pay my insurance bills, my family does.
Eh. *waves hand dismissively in air* Distinctions, shminctions. Different definitions of family. Somebody said once "Family is when you go there, they have to take you in." *checks Google* Nope. "Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in."---Robert Frost

To me, home=family. Just because people are your blood kin, that doesn't mean they are family, and vice versa.