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What Community Do You Have, What Community is Missing?
I’m working on a Barbenheimer piece that will end up in your inboxes in the next few days, because I wanted my thoughts to marinate more than 24 hours. But that gives me the chance to ask a question I’m thinking about a lot as I put together the beginnings of my next book. The question has two parts:
What does your community *actually* look like now? Family and friends, sure, but who are the neighbors and internet friends and coworkers who make up your informal network of support (and who you support in turn?) Treat this as an opportunity to reflect on who actually serves this function vs. who you wish would be in better community with you. You don’t need to write about this part, just think about it.
What do you *want* your community to look like? What sort of proximity, what sort of age diversity, what sort of informal and formal gatherings and support do you want but not’s quite there? Do you need an errand friend? Some kids for you to be an important adult (but not a parent) to? Informal care? Wisdom from people with more life experience than you? Someone to cook with, someone to work with, someone to trade household chores with, someone to share the load of living in some way….someone to travel with, someone who likes to go out to concerts or shows or movies and be quiet afterwards, someone who likes to watch reality tv and knit next to you, someone who understands your dog’s particular needs, someone who you never feel weird or sheepish about asking for a favor, you get the drift. The essence: what pillars of community have you found, and what are you still seeking?
We’ll do a thread in the future about what would need to change in your life and others’ for that to happen, but for now, I’m really interested in this question of what you yearn for in a community and what’s been really hard to come by.
Usually we keep these sorts of discussions to Friday Subscriber-Only Threads, but in the interest of an even broader conversation, we’re going to try opening it up to all readers, so long as we can abide by the Culture Study guidelines of not being assholes to each other, particularly about what’s missing in community. Let’s keep this one of the good places on the internet.