A community begins its mission when its members decide to start collaborating towards a common purpose. The real challenge is to then create the means for engaging the members in a way that brings new possibilities into being. The purpose must have a sense of urgency, which in turn makes people more likely to step up. The topic or challenge needs to be meaningful enough to lend itself to a real commitment, and has to have a bias to the future – a better world to create together, for instance.
This purpose, this raison d’être to protect or pursue a collective intention, also needs to be aligned with individual self-interest, while at the same time the added value of collaborating needs to be clear for everyone. When this goal is a shared soul-feeding passion, this joint caring becomes a bond of identity. It is inspiring to discover others who share the same passion and purpose.
The risk that can surface here is how an all-encompassing common purpose can literally become “everything to everyone”. The community can run the risk of becoming isolated and insulated from the outside world.
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
― Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre