Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Web of Connection

One of the things I observed as an undergrad, was how the different groups of people that I met interacted with each other.  The ways in which the SCA crowd intersected with the RPG gaming crowd, and so on.  And each person also brought unique aspects to the community, as I also went to classes and did other things where most of my friends were not.

I started to see each activity or event as a node, and the people connected all the different nodes together, to form a web of community.

That web of community was something that I tried to artificially create when I joined so many clubs in my second and third high schools.  But I don't think it can be forced.

Earlier this year, I borrowed a book on Organic Community from my church library, and read it.  I should look through my notes and think about it further, but I think what it is saying is that there was no Program to get people involved with the different groups I was involved in.  Purdue had a day where the different student groups could set up tables, and students could get information on whatever they were drawn to.  But the main assigning Purdue did was to my dorm room and my class sections.

In my experience, communities nest.  Webs within webs within webs, both through formal government, professional organizations, civic organizations, places of worship, and other community events.

I've written before about the disconnect between what was advertised as feminism in my youth, and what I've come to believe.  Much of the feminism I read about in the Omaha World Herald was Marxist, anti-men, anti-military, sometimes anti-government... and hard for a Brat to understand, or to want to take part in.

I've written about my experience as a Catholic on base during the first Persian Gulf War.  How my church and school taught the possibility of support for the military personnel while opposing the government's decision to go to war.

That experience was reinforced, at a different level, with the second Iraq war, when Rev. Dr. Matt Tittle was the minister of Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Church.  He, other Veteran friends, and a speaker at the UU Church of Huntsville have all talked about the reasons why a liberal, progressive, might choose to serve.

Also, during my M.A., I began to learn a bit about the "many kinds of feminisms, both locally and globally."  We need many kinds of feminism, because there are many different institutions in this country.  

We need women who can be, and are, leaders in our armed forces.  We need women to be senators, representatives, and other legislators at all levels of government.  We need women at all levels of leadership, in corporations and in non-profits and as community organizers.

If the story of my early 20s was about individuation and learning to be myself, the story of entering my 30s has been about how this part of myself integrate into the bigger community.  Perhaps in my next post, I might link to some of the promises, pledges, and creeds that I've been taught, that I think form my compass.