PETS: What is the Community’s Job?

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The community around us includes our families, friends, work, neighborhoods, cultures, and other things we identify with.

Our communities can influence, drive, cause, or otherwise influence our Personal Engagement all of our lives, from the time we’re babies through our old age.

However, our communities do not have to be forces of oppression, alienation, pain, or suffering. Instead, they can serve as our mirrors, and we can allow them to help us understand exactly who we are. Following are some tips on using our communities for this reason.

More than 800 years ago, the Muslim teacher Shams Tabrizi wrote, “The real dirt is not outside, but inside, in our hearts. We can wash all stains with water. The only one we can’t remove is the grudge and the bad intentions sticking to our hearts.” Our communities can help us see ourselves, and see that the dirt outside us is only a projection of what’s inside us.

5 Ways to Support Personal Engagement through Community

  1. See difference for what it is. The universe is made of diverse genetic formations infinitely conformed into different configurations of time and space. Albert Einstein wrote, “Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. That is not philosophy… That is physics.” Your community can help you become more engaged within yourself when you realize that difference is only on the surface.
  2. Experience others without ignoring them. When people begin to understand their interdependence with the community around them, there may be a temptation to simply breeze past others without actually knowing them. Learn others, be with them personally, and go through what they present you with. Stand as close to others as you can and experience them as much as you will, because that is life presenting you with another opportunity to even more sustainable connections within yourself.
  3. Understand the mirrors we hold up. We are only capable of seeing ugly in others, beauty in others, and life in others when those things are within us. If you want to become consciously engaged within yourself, become consciously engaged with the world around you. Our communities offer logical avenues to do that.
  4. Hold Personal Engagement highly. In becoming engaged within your community, hold Personal Engagement highly. Know that your sustained connections within yourself allow you to experience community’s richness in a more genuine way, and that your community will hold you tighter when you hold your Personal Engagement higher.
  5. Know yourself. In the same way that community engagement holds Personal Engagement, knowing yourself allows you to know your community more thoroughly. You are an infinitely complex and simple person holding vastly diverse ideas and experiences. Your community is the same. Experience one in the other and you’ve learned more keys for Personal Engagement.

Let me know what you think by responding in the comment section below, and please share these tip sheets with your friends!

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!

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