Monday Matters! “What Is Community?”

So what is community? Dictionary.com (yes, there are other sites besides Wikipedia where you can find out stuff!) defines community in the following ways;

1.a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage
2.a locality inhabited by such a group
3.a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society
4.a group of associated nations sharing common interests or a common heritage: the community of Western Europe
5.Ecclesiastical . a group of men or women leading a common life according to a rule
I wouldn’t argue with any of these definitions but is there something missing? Do folks not toss around the word “community” like it’s some kind of reverent thing and that we. who live within a particular “community,” must adhere to the “values” of that community, the “standards,” the “laws,” the “culture.” This is where I get a little confused. If I live in a particular place, but don’t “fit in” with the values, standards, culture, etc., does it mean I am not a part of the “community?” And if it does mean that, who is it that decides what those values, standards, culture are for that particular community?
To me, building community is about accepting EVERYONE in that community and using their strengths to better the community, which to me, should be the common goal for a community should it not? To better itself….Does a community become better when the decisions made in that community only benefit some of its members? Is there a community hierarchy that gets to decide what’s best for the community? Is a community really functional when it only appears to be so on the surface?
So what does community mean to you and what does it matter?
Here’s what it means to some folks in Seattle;