I find my involvement in communities to be confusing. I show up with different concerns and expectations than others. I’m not sure what I can reveal and what I have to protect. I’m afraid to give my all, in case things don’t work out and I have all my eggs in one basket.
These concerns are at the core of why great communities are challenging to create and even more challenging to grow. Yet, communities are at the core of our humanity. For millennia, we needed communities in the form of tribal villages to survive. There were animals that wanted to eat us, and later other tribes that wanted to conquer us. As we evolved, we found communities to be a vital structure for agriculture and cultural development.
Most of the U.S. population lives in cities that bring out the challenges of living together in communities with modern concerns. There is an even greater lack of clarity about what it is to be a member of a community as many of us participate in them online.
Rather than let my uncertainty paralyze me, I sought help. Last year, as part of the Inside Out Radio program, I invited three guests who are leaders in developing successful communities.
My first interview, which is provided below was with Margaret Wheatley. I first encountered Meg when I read her book, A Simpler Way, where I received insights into seeing organizations as evolving systems. Since then, I have read each of her five additional books with great interest and gratitude.
Meg is the founder of the The Berkana Institute, a global charitable foundation. Berkana works in partnership with a rich diversity of people around the world who strengthen their communities by working with the wisdom and wealth already present in their people, traditions and environment.
I hope you find this conversation valuable. If you do, drop me a note.