The mean feature of my SMSC work, blog, book, guest on podcast, creating resources, training and discussion is centred around the mantra Community ~ Love ~ Collaboration. At its heart, it means that working together with others with the shared goal to enhance tolerance and understanding and therefore peace and harmony, The concept of community greet us every day in every situation so is always relevant.
Belonging to a community and therefore being a memberis complex at any time. Two opposing sides seemingly in conflict must work together, namely remaining an individual whilst being part of a group with others. Our interests or reasons for being together can be regarded as the most important or key component to connect us and what draw us to groups or others. As a result, there is a strong personal willingness to identify with the other people in that group and features that outline with that group. Importantly as members of different groups we cannot find all important at the same time, apart from the more abstract, we are all alive, we are all human! The more importance we place on a particular membership niche the more self-identity is aligned with that group. This alludes to the idea that this is a chosen pathway where our cultural influences coupled with our upbringing will influence those decisions without apparent realisation. There is a risk that we identify ourselves and the decisions we make based on the membership of the group we deem most important. For example, you might say “I am a Christian parent, spouse, friend, teacher, and so on”. These identifications and attachments to the group are the most important to the individual even though the other features are intrinsic. Separating the Christian element from the other roles given is not easy or necessary if you do not think it is. If for example, a political party has strong views on the right to life that your beliefs align with and have equally strong views on crime and punishment that you disagree with an overt decision made on intrinsic values comes into play. If the opposing political party promoted the direct opposite of these beliefs, a decision would be made to ascertain which is the most important to the individual. Every decision made can be revoked at some point. Membership of communities is therefore just as fluid and adds credence to the diversity argument constantly moving.