In with the community

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Sometimes I struggle with the word “community”.  Maybe this is because I know only too well what it means.

Touchy feely sentiments feel warm. They help to make people feel safe. Gathering under one roof, gazebo or umbrella has the potential to be empowering.

A community also has codes of conduct. Anyone who wants to truly belong to such a group is usually expected to buy into accepted ways of seeing or doing things.

Those who see things differently sometimes have to risk the possibility of being disapproved of. Outcomes in such situations depend on how deeply feelings are felt.

How does one negotiate a successful balance between being self reliant and occasionally answerable to the inclinations of a community?