In listening to a recent presentation by David Epstein, author of the #1 NY times best seller Range, he recounts a tale in which validates my thoughts on community and the need we have to come together. It’s often when we don’t have community that crises seem insurmountable without the support from one another. When this occurs, darkness may prevail if we haven’t taken the time to cultivate relationships. Those relationships are even important with individuals who are not like us, think differently and may not seem worthy of our time. Because of the various perspectives on life, uniqueness of skills and lived experiences among us, when we are brought together we are more adept at offering that support. Not only that but we can strengthen the larger whole by having strong and diverse networks within. While David’s speech and best selling book are not about community, the moral of his narrative can be paralleled in a way that left an impression on me and I have paraphrased it below.
There once was a fire in a small town in which was endanger of spreading to adjacent structures. Fortunately there was a small lake nearby in which neighbors rallied and were filling buckets one by one, tossing them on the flame in hoping to extinguish the fire. But it wasn’t working and the fire was getting bigger. The fire chief came and observed what was going on and commanded the individuals to stop what they were doing. She instructed everyone to fill their buckets, come together in a circle and surround the fire. Then on the count of three they were to unite as neighbors and throw the buckets of water on at the same time dampening the flame and saving the town.
That is community. Coming together in times of need. Do you know your neighbors? Will they rally with you in times of crisis? We you rally for them? We need community to help each other when we’re trying to put out fires – the big and the small.
Read Last’s week post on Community if you haven’t already.
Listen to David’s speech here about why generalists may be better than specialists. It was amazing and referred to me by a friend. I liked it so much I had to listen to it twice. Now I’m buying his book and you can to.