Building Community Through Better Relationships

We’ve Got to Love Outside Our Circle

Circle of Trust

Circles are eternal. They have no beginning and they have no end. But, they are contained. They represent boundaries. Either a point is inside the circle or outside the circle. While circles are wonderfully simple in this way, relationships are unfortunately complicated. Whether boys are looking for love in all the wrong places, or a family simply seeks to love their neighbor, the result is often messy human interactions. The boundary that should allow relationships to be inclusive, often becomes the barrier that impedes human interaction. To create better functioning relationships, people need to love outside their circles. But how?

Geographic Community
People used to be defined by tight-knit communities. Families lived in the same area from one generation to the next. The community benefitted from similar values, ideals, and family histories. Sameness was safe. And, differences were seen as dangerous. People loved their neighborhoods; outsiders were not welcome. But, the human spirit is adventurous. Consequently, people risked seeking better environments and these cocoons were eventually disrupted. Vibrant communities embrace the change and adapt. The result is people outside the original circle entering and the community benefiting. Loving outside the circle welcomes progress. It means accepting, knowing and loving different folks. They are coming anyway.

Social Community
Social circles tend to be larger than geographic communities, but erect boundaries that are just as rigid. Places of worship, country clubs, and community groups are strongholds of commonality. These circles are so clearly defined that they don’t simply stop at protecting themselves from outsiders. They protect themselves from each other’s ugly personality traits. A classic example is the church matriarch who routinely fakes loving. Teary-eyed, she asks fellow worshippers to pray for Uncle Oscar’s bunions. Meanwhile the entire congregation secretly knows that her teenaged demon is going straight to Hell on a rocket! Social communities are governed by convention and mores. But, little room remains among their rules for love and honesty. The social circle is designed to remain tightly knit so that no one can enter with a sense of accountability. To be truly functional, the circle’s artificial boundaries of convention and mores must fall so that people can love beyond them. But, does anyone really remember where the conventions and mores initially came from. Who invents good manners anyway?

Virtual Community
In modern virtual relationships, geography is de-emphasized. Actually, humanity is too often de-emphasized. Members of these communities can be from anywhere and assume any personality. Commonality bridging distances and cultures seems to be better. Except that members of virtual communities must be more discerning. Nevertheless, relationships can still evolve and extend. Because of porous geographic and cultural boundaries inherent in a virtual community, loving outside pre-determined boundaries happens more easily. Consequently, virtual communities are capable of expanding faster than the other community types. Ideas are introduced, circulated and removed quickly. While one can never eliminate the benefits of physical relationships, unique interactions in virtual environments bring opportunities for healthy connections. Such connections reflect loving beyond boundaries because virtual communities are conditioned to be more fluid.

Loving outside your circles is fundamentally knocking down barriers. Love is a human condition that ensures perpetuation of the species in a physical sense. Likewise, it represents not killing each other in a social sense. Embracing people who look and think alike is easy. That represents our circle. It’s harder to love outside the circle. But, it is more valuable! Allow people to earn trust; it facilitates productivity. Embrace inclusion of different contributors outside your circle. Love them, so they can contribute to your better tomorrow.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter & Beyond


March 6, 2015 - Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better World | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Reblogged this on hypnoclinician.

    Comment by hypnoclinician | March 7, 2015 | Reply

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