Normal Accidents LO12208
Sun, 26 Jan 1997 16:55:21 -0500 (EST)

Replying to LO12078 --

Ed Brenegar suggests an interesting definition of "community":

>> I have arrived at the conclusion
>>that a healthy community involves at a minimum three communal
>>conditions. First, that people find a people, place, history,
>>and/or a set of values in which they find a genunie sense of
>>"affiliation." Secondly, that they experience a genuine sense
>>of acceptance, dignity, respect and love, "affection" or real,
>>mutual caring for one another. Thirdly, that people find
>>themselves affirmed in what they individually have to offer to
>>the community as a whole. Whether it be their wisdom, money,
>>physical labor or participation in collaborative efforts to
>>build their community, they find their contributions and lives
>>affirmed and appreciated.

I would suggest that there is a fourth dimension: existence of a system of
expectations for how members of the community interact and relate to each
other. Be this called "a legal system", "a moral system" or what have
you, it seems to me that a common set of guiding principles which define
how members of the community choose to act within and without the
community are essential. These 'rules' are do not exist situationally,
that is when I choose to follow them, but are always present as they serve
to define the very nature of the community. In fact through its
existence, Community does ask its members to subordinate the indviudal to
the collective.

In looking at our organizations, communities, etc. we are const antly
challenged in the dialetic of community and individual along the dimension
of "rules".

Martin Levine, Assistant General Director
Jewish Community Centers of Chicago
1 South Franklin
Chicago, Illinois 60606
ph: 312.444.2874
fax: 312.855.3283


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