What is Community? In Under 5 Minutes

This is community Pumpkin Potluck on the West Side of Long Beach to gather neighbors together.

Written by Scott M. Jones, Executive Director of We Love Long Beach


What is community?

1. Community as place.

2. Community as relationships

3. Community as discovery

1. Community is centered around living well together in a place. Community is about a specific geography and sinking one’s roots deeply into its rich soil. Seeing community as a tangible place allows neighbors to share in a common identity and responsibility of their land. Having a mutual vision of community as a shared place creates a sense of pride and spirit that energizes and sustains the place and its people for generations to come.

2. Community is centered on relationships. It is impossible to have community without being in relationship with  neighbors. Community is about building relationships of trust that grow slowly over time into deep wells of care. It is where neighbors welcome strangers in and together seek the good of their children, the well being of their elderly and other vulnerable neighbors. This kind of attentive community displaces loneliness through warm hospitality, and creates space where everyone belongs, where differences are seen as gifts and everyone is loved.

3. Community is centered on discovery. We know deep down that every neighbor within the community has many, many gifts, talents, skills, and resources waiting to contributed for the good of the community. It is the responsibility of fellow neighbors to unearth the treasure that exists in all ages, to connect their gifts to others within the neighborhood and to mobilize their gifts to bring life to individuals and to the entire community. A gift is not a gift until it is giving, received, and reciprocated.

May we as residents live more fully and responsibly into our community.

“The purpose of community is community.” -Peter Block

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