Much of what is happening in community starts as loving gestures and then when it seems to work, formulas are derived and a "protective" approach sets in. How do we maintain our original vision without stifling new perspectives about it?
I guess that what often happens is that when a community works, people in the community fall in love with it, and want to keep it forever the same way, often aggressively. The problem is that changes do happen.
If the community grows in number, the protective approach you talk about is simply trying to keep order within that growth. First, this will bring changes that will annoy many and so the community will seem to not be working. Second, growth will also cause leaks in a community that often do not go with the spirit of the community. This also causes negative feelings within it and within its own founding members, who could even become the most toxic to the community themselves.
Growth will also cause a community to be fractioned. You cannot remain as intimate with everyone in a big community as when it was small. Smaller groups within the community will develop. Usually the older members and the newer ones will group with each other. This often leads to tyrannical behavior from one of the groups in the community, usually the one that has more influence over the whole, and they can issue “protective“ measures to the whole that will eventually “stifle“ it. Or else, an unfriendly division that splits the community in two, and leaves both damaged.
This all, of course, inhibits love and communities start decaying.
An attempt of a solution for all this might simply be to keep an open and positive mind about the community; or leave it in time in a friendly and supportive manner (for constructive reasons and not trying to bring the former community down).
The community has to grow with the possibility of diverse changes in mind and not convinced that it can forever stay in what they could mistakenly call its golden days. There are golden days to be had in each part of its life cycle and in each of its life cycles even. Smaller groups will develop but there has to be an effort to stay in community between groups as much as possible. If this starts to seem impossible, smaller groups (maybe one of the older ones who have more power in it) should start to give space to the others even if this means a slow death to what they know as “their“ community and the birth of a new one. An approach of support should be held while they can start a new community, always in friendly terms.
Little by little some groups are going to be disappearing from communities to form new ones, but it is best if this is done in a friendly manner and with understanding. This clearly requires an effort because if you love your former community, it has to be hard to see it change. The challenge is to see it change and even be supportive of that; while building a new community with no apprehensions. Communities are probably more like cells, which multiply exponentially before their death, than what we at first sight perceive as whole bodies, and that is not bad as long as cells don’t fight each other.
Also consider all the same applies even if the community itself does not grow. Changes still occur and exactly the same could happen.
After typing all this, I realize I completely lost focus from the topic of keeping the original vision in a community and was rather making loooong ramblings about painful but still natural changes in a community. Still, the main question about the vision is FAR more interesting. My mind is tired by now but I hope I can soon read here good insights about the actual topic.
HERE are some random thoughts about stuff: In 2009, my family and I took our first trip to Greenbelt. We didn't just *go* to Greenbelt, we DID GREENBELT. A group of friends came along and joined us as we modeled our unique articulations of community and playful collaboration. Before we went, the festival had seemed to us to be a bit enigmatic, shrouded 'neath an imaginary cloud of the…See More
“There is plenty of courage among us for the abstract but not for the concrete.” - Helen Keller
“Love, like truth and beauty, is concrete. Love is not fundamentally a sweet feeling; not, at heart, a matter of sentiment, attachment, or being "drawn toward." Love is active, effective, a matter of making reciprocal and mutually beneficial relation with one's friends and enemies. Love creates righteousness, or justice, here on earth. To make love is to make justice. As advocates and activists for justice know, loving involves struggle, resistance, risk.” - Carter Heyward