Oh my, hello. I can’t believe I’m writing again. I’m finally back from my blogging hiatus or, as I would like to call it, my “blog sabbatical”. Thank you to those who have prayed for me and have sent their well-wishes — they are very much appreciated. I’m happy to say that right now, things are somehow better than they were months ago — but more of that in another entry. Today I feel like writing about COMMUNITY, a term that is being used rather loosely in the digital world. The sign on the image above is somewhat related to the topic.
As a blogger and as a hardcore social media consumer, I encounter the term community everyday. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed this but online communities have been popping up here and there, now more than ever. But what is community, really?
Many online community leaders all over the world pride themselves in having the expertise in bringing like-minded people together, encouraging support and collaboration among their members, and coaching/mentoring these members in achieving their dreams. I’ve come across a number of them who have the best and purest of intentions — these people have both the skill and sincerity to actually make a difference in the lives of their community members. Sadly, there are others who bravely (or shamelessly) market themselves — despite their lack of expertise, credentials or at the very least, a solid work ethic — for money-making and image-building purposes. It took quite some time for me to realize this but yes, such “communities” do exist. I am not, in any way, discouraging any of you from joining online communities as I myself am a member of a few, but I do want to remind everyone of the real meaning of community.
I took a break from blogging because I needed some time off to face some changes happening in my life. One of the lessons I’ve learned during this period is the value of real community, i.e., the real and meaningful relationships that God has blessed us with.
This, I’ve recently learned, is what real community looks like (at least to me; it can be different for you):
These are some of my communities and these, to me, are the things that last. I don’t see these people everyday, but I know that our relationships go beyond Facebook messages, emojis, I-miss-you’s, see-you-soon’s, pretty Instagram photos, #feedgoals, #instameets, and occasional events/gatherings/meet-ups. I thank God for them everyday and have made it a point to put them on the top of my priority list.
If you’re looking for a community to belong in, look around you first before you go searching online. Just look around you and you’ll realize that you’re already part of several of them. I am pretty sure that these people would gladly help you, support you, and collaborate with you if you ask them. More importantly, they will always be there for you through your highs and lows, your joys and sorrows. These are the relationships that God has blessed us with, and these relationships have already withstood the test of time, busyness, personality clashes, political and religious differences, petty quarrels and big fights, and many other things. Nurture them, lean on them, make time for them.
If, however, you feel that you need the support of an online community to help you in your personal or creative pursuits, that is perfectly fine too, as long as you can decipher which of them really recognize and actually carry out the true meaning of community.
That’s it. I can’t believe I’m writing again but I hope I gave you something to reflect on, haha. I’ll try to publish more articles this week before I start planning my blog revamp (because this blog has run its course and has to evolve along with me, haha).
What is your definition of “real community”? I’d like to know if I’m alone in this or if others share the same sentiments, too. Haha. Enjoy the rest of the week.