I’m becoming increasing convinced that the best way to build community is to create together. Furthermore, the greater the creation, the deeper the community that results. If you are creating something that really matters with others, I mean the kind of thing that you really long to see manifested in the world, then deeper parts of those involved will be invited to come out and play.
This has happened a number of times for me. It’s been fun to see the projects that have been birthed and the community that has come: The Prop — a network of people doing good in the world, Bikes Vs. Cars — an app to encourage cycling over car use, Subtext — a platform for underlying voices, thoughts, and stories, and a secret society where people tell stories and share experiences of who they are.
I’ve heard it said that the easiest way to change your life is to change the people you spend time with. I think that’s true, because you are impacted by the people around you. Their thoughts, values, preferences, personalities, and desires begin to rub off over time. Some argue that if you want to change your life, the easiest, quickest, and best way to do it is by changing who you spend your time with.
I’m more interested in another idea: changing your community by creating, initiating, and inviting others to come around you to collaborate. It’s the opposite approach, i suppose.
Don’t change your community to change your life, change your community by creating with them.
If you want to make a change, take a risk and make something together. As you work together, you will find that your collaborators will know you deeper and call you to do and be more than you ever expected — sometimes in big ways and sometimes in small ones. What you create will inevitably be something different than you set out to create, and who you all are will inevitably be shaped by the process.