Before I get too far into this, I want to mention the names of two persons who have greatly influenced my thinking on this and other subjects over the years, Emma Goldman and Eugene V. Debs. If you aren’t familiar with their lives, please take the time to check them out. For Goldman, I recommend Vivian Gornick’s biography and for Debs, The Bending Cross by Ray Ginger. You can thank me later.
My ‘Ah ha!’ moment about the vital role community plays in our lives occurred while reading Marilynn Robinson. Please God that I may one day write a sentence as beautiful and true as this:
"Any human face is a claim on you, because you can't help but understand the singularity of it, the courage and loneliness of it”
Why start a post on the importance of community with the above quote? Because to be an individual is to be lonely and just to get through most days requires tremendous courage on our part. We are singular cradle to grave. Without community we would not survive that journey. That is a given. But it is equally true that in community we find our purpose and identity. It is in the neighborhoods of our youth that our initial values and beliefs are formed. Let me introduce you to my formative chrysalis, Argentine.