While I'm away at the Johnson and Johnson's Camp, please enjoy this guest post by Headless Mom.
When I first started to write this I rambled in a million directions trying to get to this place:
Community is a place where we feel accepted.
When one joins a community, whether it be a residential neighborhood, a church, a school, or here-an online community, there is a general assumption that you will contribute to that community in a positive way. A community is a place where we feel we belong, where we find encouragement, empathy, support, advice.
Dialogue and constructive criticism has its place in every community. No community will grow and evolve without it. The key word being: constructive. I’m reminded of what my father has always told me: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Dialogue and criticism, when said with love, contributes to community; when said with bitterness and hate breaks down the very foundation that we build our community on.
What I’ve learned from reading and commenting, and now writing, is that we are all here to be a part of this community in some way. I cry when I read something that another mom struggles with because I can identify with them, and because I wonder if their struggle will soon be my own. I’ve learned that I’m not the only one struggling: that each.and.every.minute of mothering and wife-ing is not always a bed of roses. It’s busy and mundane, and funny, and sad, and at the very core, uniting.
I guess, in the end, we should ask ourselves:
-Am I contributing in a positive way?
-If I disagree with someone am I responding in a loving way? Or am I being hateful or bitter?
-If I can’t be loving and constructive should I even be in this conversation or community at all?