What does community mean to me? The first thing I think of is Harry Tuttle in Brazil: “We’re all in this together.” unfortunately that doesn’t fit the four word restriction. But the actual prompt for #Antigonish2 is “What has community meant for you?”
— Bonnie Stewart (@bonstewart) March 31, 2017
That’s different. It’s not asking for a definition but an effect. For most of my life I’ve been a loner/outsider/introvert. The community at large and I had little use for each other. But there have always been a few that I have connected with – the neighborhood street hockey crew, the metal party people, the local music scene, the ds106 community. Those connections matter. They can be sustaining. The opportunities to contribute and be part of something adds to my sense of self-worth. What community has meant for me is
multiple opportunities for growth
There’s a second prompt: “What does an engaged community look like to you?”
I’m interested in the typewriter image. It suggests communication and technology, but it’s an old technology, at least by technological standards. So there is a timelessness to it. Engaged community has always been with us. It’s part of what makes us human. But the typewriter is a tool. It takes skill to use it well. It represents a commitment – investing in one and learning to use it. As a society, over several decades, we have built an amazing communication tool – the Internet. I feel like we’re letting it go though. We let privacy go. We’re letting net neutrality go. We’re letting this amazing communication tool turn into another TV.
Is that really what we want? What do we sacrifice along the way? We could use this tool to help build community, to work towards a better educated citizenry. That’s what I see in Antigonish2. We can make things happen for us, rather than have things happen to us.