Blog Anniversary and The Art of Community Life

Blog Anniversary and The Art of Community Life November 20, 2010

When I started this blog a year ago, I remember thinking that I just needed a place to organize my thoughts and process everything I’m wrestling with. I created it on a whim (hence the unoriginal name “Musing of a Young Mom”) and thought that I might have a half-dozen followers after a year. Imagine my surprise when I had 2 followers within a week (Catholic Mutt and The Married Couple Thanks guys!) and now a year later I have 80? I still can hardly believe it.
I continue to write this blog for me, so I write sporadically on whatever happens to be in my head. When I started writing here, I was sure of so many things, and at the end of a year, I feel as though there isn’t that much we can be sure of. But along the way, I’ve discovered a new understanding of God, I still wrestle with my doubts, I’ve left behind spanking and the performance mentality of my childhood, and I’ve learned alot about myself.
 I have appreciated your support and input as I’ve shared my journey. Thank you to everyone who bothers to read my scattered thoughts ! I’ve really enjoyed my venture into blogging, even though I am kind of unsavvy when it comes to computers and still feel challenged by pretty basic tech stuff.
I have a whole bunch of posts percolating that are driving me nuts because I don’t have the time to finish them. This blog is where my thoughts come together and actually make sense to me. And of course I love hearing from all of you. I will not be reading blogs much or writing at all while I am gone on this trip (thank you so much for all of your suggestions!), I’ll probably show up on Twitter or Facebook a few times, but I will miss reading you all! If you emailed me, thank you! I will return your notes when I get back.
And I’ll leave you with some thoughts I’ve been pondering lately. This quote is taken from the book by Joan Chittister “Wisdom Distilled from the Daily” Living the Rule of St Benedict Today:

“The art of community life in general lies in the balance of the person and the group. Benedictine spirituality exacts two things: self-giving and self-development; family order and family understanding. Any one of these without the others reveals a person or a group gone askew.

Individuals do not exist for groups. That is fascism. That is the philosophy that makes it possible to shoot football players full of steroids do the team can win and then abandon the players when the steroids don’t work on their broken bodies any longer. That is the philosophy that makes young men cannon fodder for the fatherland. That is the philosophy that turns people into interchangeable parts for the company. That is the kind of parenting that leaved young people unhappy for years as they try to live out the aspirations of their mothers or the expectations of their fathers.

Groups exist for people. The function of a group is to enable people to achieve together what they cannot possibly achieve alone. Groups are meant to make our highest personal hopes achievable through common search and common effort and common discipline. Groups, communities, and families provide the environment in which individuals can become what they most seek to be.”

I love this quote because it is so different from everything that I ever understood about the function of the group. I was most definitely taught that the individual existed to serve the group. 
 What is your understanding of the balance between the individual and the group?

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