BY SHEENA BLAKE
How connected are you to yourself and others? What are your thoughts and feelings on the idea of community? Today’s column is about community and our need for it; our need for solidarity, for union, love and kinship.
Over the last week in Toronto the Black Lives Matter rallies have been taking place. And, as high as tensions were, I experienced something that I have never experienced before: community. Now, I could use all types of big, long words to describe the politics and theories surrounding community, but they, at this time, would take away from the real human connections that I witnessed and experienced during these times.
What happens to you, as an individual, when you begin to think about more than you and your immediate family? I have to admit; I was certainly a “stick to just my family” type of person for quite a while. But, when I got the call from my elders that “my love and support was needed for my sisters and my brothers on the front lines”, it suddenly occurred to me; I am and we are all important and necessary for each other’s ability to thrive.
Take a minute and think about the last time you stretched your love further than the homes of your family members, those religiously affiliated to you or co workers? Of course, this is beautiful. The love shared between all of these faces and spaces. But, the question I am asking you to ponder is, how far can my love stretch? Where does it get pinched up? Where does it roam freely?
What I am realizing is that community is about everyone; it is about understanding a mass family and all of our responsibility in the maintenance and growth of our mass family. We all know that the big time people used to say, “it takes a village to raise a child”. They really weren’t crazy and without sounding too kumba-ya-ee, I’m seeing how true this statement is. Beyond all of our judgments of each other, beyond all of the pains we have suffered through separately and collectively, we all share the same responsibility to each other.
As far as I can see and understand, community is about stretching and growth. Community is about acknowledging, with the appropriate boundaries, our need for each other to share in this thing called life. I am honoured to be able to, forced to, called to and allowed to stretch my love and support further than I ever have before. We really all do have so much to offer. It’s time to check your oil; how far are you stretching?