Community: a group of interdependent organisms living together in a specified habitat
I choose to use the ecological definition of community. This definition highlights the ways in which community impacts our lives–differently than a definition such as ‘people with shared interests or culture.’ Community is all around us, and even inside of us–our microbiome, a community of teeeeeeennnnny organisms with which your life on this earth is completely co-dependent, is a great example of this. (Seriously, the study of the human microbiome has taught us so much about how interdependent our lives truly are). You and your microbiome are living in tandem; each reliant upon the other for a healthy and thriving life, balance and harmony as key to existence.
Community, when describing human relationships, is the understanding and acknowledgement of this interconnectedness. Since an insidious component of whiteness is isolation and divisiveness to enable power hoarding, being in community is not just a loving thing we throw on to describe a feeling of closeness with others. It is a literal act of survival and resistance for many and protects us from physical and psychological harm. Through recognizing the dignity of another’s humanity, we can together build capacity to resist the seduction of upholding white supremacy culture, and along the way we can begin to discover and reveal more of our authentic selves.
For me, being in community is just like that–recognizing the nature in which I am part and parcel of you. And finding ways of being in which and other organisms with which I can be in balance and harmony. Community is a life source for me, offering me a state of centeredness where I can see myself as:
Loved and Loving
And to offer to others:
Tracy and I have been reading this excellent resource full of Indigenous wisdom and guidance on a kinship system worldview. The interconnected nature of life is central to this worldview, and I'd like to share a snippet of what we're learning:
"I live in a universe. I am a point of awareness, a circle of consciousness, in the midst of a series of circles. One circle is that which we call the body. It is a universe itself, full of millions of little living creatures living their own separate but co-dependent lives. They live, fight, make love, split, and die independent of my consciousness, most of the time. If some of them get disturbed or get hurt they might tell me about it so that I can help them, so that I can get them some food, or scratch them, or get rid of their left-overs.
Another circle is all of the other things which I am completely dependent upon—Gishux, the sun, the air, the water, and so on. Another circle is all of the things that fill my consciousness—the things I see, smell, hear, and so on. Another circle is the source of my dreams, consciousness, insights, gifts or powers, ideas, and “intuitions.”
But all of these “circles” are not really separate—they are all mutually dependent upon each other, they are all mixed up with each other, they all overlap and move in, and out, of each other.
And that mutual dependence blurs into the circle of love, that mystery, that glue that holds all of this together. Scientists may call it attraction, or affinity, or magnetism, or gravity, as well as affection, symbiosis, kinship, community, family, compassion, or whatever. But there is that circle, that mysterious circle, that makes life possible."
We are offering today for each of you to consider your being in relationship with either whiteness or your own authenticity. Community is just one way we can begin to center our authentic selves. If you're looking for more real REAL ways to decenter whiteness in your powerful antiracist warrior journey...look no further! Check the link below to snag this FREE resource today.
Narváez, Darcia ; Topa, Wahinkpe . Restoring the Kinship Worldview (pp. 128-129). North Atlantic Books. Kindle Edition.
Jack D. Forbes. Columbus and Other Cannibals: The Wétiko Disease of Exploitation, Imperialism, and Terrorism, 181–83. Rev ed. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2008