A Group of People

To Be or Not To Be, Without.

In life on March 19, 2011 at 4:24 pm

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By Collin Peterson

While every room in the hospital is painted the same color, each room has a different story to tell.

“We purchased 15 acres of land a few years back and our entire family lives on it today,” the patient remarked.

“Just your immediate family?” I asked.

“No.  The grandparents, parents, children and grandchildren all live there.  That way we’re close enough that we can show up at a moments notice for anything any of us need,” the patient happily answered.

You don’t hear stories like this anymore.  People say they have a close family but what they  usually mean is that they talk to one another frequently on the phone or take monthly trips home.  This family lived entirely on the same land, celebrated every occasion and holiday together, and could be there when one or more of the family members needed help.

Webster’s dictionary defines the word “community” as a unified body of individuals. Are you part of a unified body of people you can rely upon? If not, it wouldn’t be surprising.  In the last few decades more and more people are reported to be living alone.  And why not, today’s world teaches us to be individualistic, make your own choices, YOU CAN DO IT-by yourself.  In actuality research suggests that if you live alone and neglect building a strong social network of close relationships, you are more prone to psychiatric disorders, loneliness and clinical depression.[1]

As I was leaving the patient’s room I smiled and said, “Get some rest and I’m keeping my fingers crossed you will be able to go home soon.”

The patient smiled and said, “That’s one of the best things [about living on the same land as the rest of the family]. I always look forward to going home!”

As I shut the door I was reminded of the old adage, “You get out of it what you put into it.” And so it is with being part of a healthy community.

“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.” – George Bernard Shaw (1925 Nobel Prize for Literature)

“A community is like a ship; everyone ought to be prepared to take the helm.” –  Henrik Ibsen (playwright of the late 19th century)

James 3:17 [The Message]

1. Claude Fischer. August 2010. “Alone or Lonely?

To you personally, what are the greatest benefits of living in a genuine and trustworthy community?

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