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Community Counts

My wife and I recently attended a garden party in a neighboring town. Yes, an actual garden party with a garden and all of the traditional nostalgia you’d expect at such an event. Lush green grass, vineyards all around, vegetables growing nearby, flowers throughout the grounds, refreshing beverages, and delicious appetizers. A hip three-piece band played many of our favorite songs by artists like Bob Marley, Jennifer Hudson, Marvin Gaye, and even The Temptations. The air was warm, the breeze was cool, the sky was clear. It was, in a word… “Perfect”. All of these wonderful distractions helped to make the evening a success and yet the one component that was most noteworthy, the one that we sometimes take for granted and fail to mention, shined brighter than all the others…, Community.

The owner of the Winery approached us as we parked our car to thank us for attending and to share one of his favorite life experiences associated with the place. At first, this seemed a bit unusual, but as I worked my way through the tables beneath the shady pines, nodding, smiling, and saying hello I could see that he appeared to be the catalyst for the entire event vibe! I noticed him throughout the evening at many of the tables, laughing and sharing stories with guests. He set the tempo for everyone in attendance, including my wife and I. I felt compelled to reach out my hand to the people I met, tell a story or two, and generally get connected. He later explained to me that the weekly event was originally intended for travelers to and from North Carolina’s Outer Banks but that it had quickly become a local’s favorite. This was apparent by the comfortable conversation all around us, the children and their pets playing, and the familiar feeling of home.

Community matters to us. We instinctively look for it, listen for it, and wait to feel it. It's why we have favorite restaurants, gyms, bars, businesses, parks, and clubs in our towns all over the world. “Our” is by definition “belonging to or associated with the speaker and one or more other people previously mentioned or easily identified". We all like and have a basic need to belong to something larger than ourselves, above all “Our” communities make that happen.

Questions to consider in terms of creating or joining a community:

  1. What are your values and what values do you want to be aligned within the community?
  2. What is the purpose and goal of creating or joining a community?
  3. How often do you want to engage with your community (ex: daily, weekly, monthly, etc.)?
  4. How do you want to structure your community (ex: private Facebook group, Meetup, Google group, in-person meeting, dinner party etc.)?
  5. What do you have to offer the group and what do you want to receive? How can you share and collaborate?

Reasons why we want and need community:

  1. You’re Surrounded By People Who Share Similar Values
  2. So much to learn and teach
  3. Connect to people on a deep level
  4. Push each other for the better
  5. Easy to find teammates for projects 
  6. There’s always something fun happening
  7. You count on community

Chesapeake Virginia has been our family home and community for over 34 years. The community is close, progressive, works hard, and knows how to relax. Our neighbors to the South are the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and to the north, several exciting cities like Norfolk, Richmond, Williamsburg, and Northern Virginia (locally known as NOVA). Whether you relocated here for your career like us or researched diligently to find the best schools and neighborhoods to raise a family, welcome!   

Have a get together, attend a regular event, join or create your own community; simple or over the top, makes no difference. It’s all about community.

By Lee Brinn ~ TitleQuest

 

Sources:
Spero, Harper. "The Importance Of Community" The Blog | The Huffington Post, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/harper-spero/the-importance-of-community_b_6978186.html.  Accessed 30 June 2018.
Collective Evolution. “10 Reasons why you want to live in a community” The Collective Evolution, https://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/03/08/10-reasons-why-you-want-to-live-in-a-community/ Accessed 30 June 2018.

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