I wanted to record a few thoughts I had this morning on "community" though.
One of the big things associated with Starbucks' stellar growth and popularity a few years ago was that they provided more than coffee ... they provided community. In metropolitan areas, it seemed that folks were really craving this sense of community so they'd line up at Starbucks each day, caring more about who they got to share a few words with than they did the coffee. It was hard for them to recognize that, though, so they told folks they went there for the great coffee.
As I have gotten older, I have begun to realize how much I desire and love community. When I was younger, I fancied myself a bit of a lone wolf ... I was comfortable being on the outside of community. I wouldn't say that I was scared of community but I was more prideful of my ability to resist community and be the independent self-reliant type.
But, these days, things have changed. I have lived in the town we live in now for I figure 24 of my 45 years. Yopu'd think I would have understood the importance of community within that context far sooner than I did but I am a bit stubborn and resistant.
These days, though, whether it's at the service station, my favorite coffee place, church, school, restaurants, the bank, even doctors' offices, I truly enjoy seeing people I know ... and greeting them as well as greeting folks I don't know. You get a mixed bag of reactions when you greet people who don't know you ... but that just makes it more interesting.
At my favorite coffee place, even though it only takes them a minute or so to make my drink, I sit down on the couch while they make it. I like the relaxed feeling of the couch ... from there I can be comfortable as I watch and hopefully participate in the community around me.
There's something markedly richer and more enjoyable about living life in community ... the way that I believe we were intended to live.