Re: Building "community"
From: Rob Sandelin (
Date: Fri, 18 Nov 94 17:59 CST
Geoff Mamlet and Hannah Bloch write:

> 2)  How have other groups dealt with members' differing levels of emphasis
>     on "community" versus concrete issues (excuse the pun)?

I'm coming to understand that  there is an ecology of community, with 
all sorts of complex interactions.  Within any healthy group are a 
number of different roles which members play.  For example one common 
role is the mender, a person who gets people together who are having 
communication problems.  There are many different roles, some of which 
do not always harmonize. Two roles which are equally important, but do 
not always harmonize are the doers, and the visioners.  If you have a 
community full of visioners, lots of interesting discussions happen but 
nothing ever gets done.  Visioners tend to be impatient about practical 
advantages, they deal in concepts.

Likewise if everyone in the group is a doer, progress usually breaks 
down from lack of communication and vision. Doers tend to be impatient 
with concepts, they want to get things done, not talk about it.   What 
I have been discovering in exploring communities in my area, and also 
in looking at my own group  is that groups which have stood the test of 
time have a good mixture of people who fill all the needed roles, when 
they are needed. Any given individual may play any number of roles, 
although some may only play a few roles.  The  point about all this 
which relates to the original question is to have tolerance for each 
others roles and encourage and support each others contributions.

I am reworking  an essay on the topic of the ecology of community, have 
been for some time, and will get the full thinking out someday about 
this.  I would be interesting in hearing what roles people perceive 
within their communities.  What types of people are there, what do they 
do, what do they need to be happy.

Rob Sandelin

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