Self to Community involves the search for insights from great prophets, thinkers, and teachers of every age and tradition in developing social contracts.
Self to Community is the next step in developmental learning once an individual has a clear understanding of who they are and how they related to others. Self to Community explores the common characteristics of various groups within the larger society. It looks at discerning where one belongs, where others reside, what are common characteristics of groups and what are shared values and interests of various communities.
“What is Community? While we traditionally think of a community as the people in a given geographical location, the word can really refer to any group sharing something in common. This may refer to smaller geographic areas — a neighborhood, a housing project or development, a rural area — or to a number of possible communities within a larger, geographically-defined community. These are often defined by race, ethnicity, professional or economic ties, religion, culture or shared background or interest.” –Ikeda Center
Questions that are addressed in the module Self to Community (but not limited to) are:
- What is community?
- Which community or communities do I belong to?
- Do my friends belong to the same community or do they have other communities where they belong?
- What are the traditions practiced and beliefs held in my community and how are they different from other communities?
- What is democracy and how does or doesn’t it protect my rights? The rights of others?
- What are some of the shared values across various communities i.e. Christians, Jews, Hindu’s, Islamics, Buddhists, Humanists, etc.?
- How does my understanding of self, family and friends impact the communities I chose to join?
- How has major technological advancements shaped community?
One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.
–Jean Vanier, Community And Growth