17 March 2009

I was in a meeting at work recently where we discussed 'Community Engagement'. The dialogue was already well passed the definition of and had moved to the importance of, the value in, and the risk in not 'doing'. I have been in these discussions often, so my mind wandered. I wandered back to the definition of community. All my life I have interpreted the word to mean a group defined by a common interest or belief in something...a church community, neighborhood, etc. But in this discussion they were talking about people who lived within pre-defined boundaries. I started to wonder how many people in the room were like me. I live in one community and work in another (and I am not a distance commuter). I sleep in one and spend much of my awake time in the other. I send my son to school in the other (really it is daycare, but it makes me feel better to call it school). I shop in both, actually I shop in multiple others. I find myself engrossed in local politics in both places, but more in the other (naturally because I work for the other). I only vote where I sleep, those are the rules. The 'engagement' discussion that I zoned out of excluded me and my family, we were not who they were trying to reach. I realized that outside of a professional capacity I wouldn't be invited to any of their meetings and I must admit that hurt a little.


Ducky said...

This is really interesting, Amy. And, I think I know what you mean about realizing you don't share social community with your colleagues. It is kind of a sad thing, given that we spend so much time with the people with whom we work. Not a good feeling to feel a sense of exclusion, either, even it it's mild or unintentional.
I work with a lot of great people, and I usually find myself on the other side of one social barrier or another, from them.

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