From my mother, I inherited a Belleek china tea set. Belleek is both beautiful and fragile -- porcelain china so thin you can see shadows through it, so light it feels like paper. And so delicate that just dropping a teaspoon can break a teacup.
What we call community is also incredibly beautiful, and incredibly fragile. It can be shattered by a casual comment taken personally, by differences of opinion over minor matters, by trust betrayed…
It’s easier to describe what community is not, than to define what it is.
Community is not just a group of people. Merely gathering people together in one place – whether for a rock concert, a sports event, or a church service – does not create a community.
Nor does having a million followers on Facebook or Twitter.
For the same reason, simply being a member of an organization does not create a community. You can be a member of a Rotary club or a Baptist church for 40 years, and have never visited another member in their home, heard their passions, held them while they cry…
Passive presence is not enough.