Community is defined as a social group of any size who members reside in a specific locality, share government and often have a common culture and historical heritage. On the contrary, who is to say that is the only correct meaning that gives us a direct understanding? For example, words such as community have a broad meaning. Based on a person experience, evidence, or personal beliefs community can have different meanings. Personally, I believe a community is a strongly connected group of people that share values and culture beliefs, in addition to having care for one another’s well being and safety, and that can come together as a whole in a time of need. Furthermore, credibility is established because I have experienced those characteristics within my community growing up. However, that is one meaning that others may agree or disagree on. In similar fashion, author and writer such as Ari Le Vaux shares a similar meaning when he talks about his meaning of community in an article based on a true story.
His discussion about a community; destroyed by a natural disaster, coming together to help rebuild their town. The community built a support system, mostly of teens; they were dedicated and committed about posting and planting produce to help make a profit that will help benefit their community. Not only did Le Vaux discuss community; but he talks about the education the teenagers received from the empowering experience. In addition, he briefly discuss the image of self, who am I? Where do I want to be? The community made support teams educated the teen about identify, they were able to explore interests, learn skills and find personal goal. As LeVaux interviewee says, “Before you can plan where you are going, it helps to understand where you are”. Although Le Vaux touches on three different topics; however, the focus will be the different characteristics meanings of community.
The sayings “children are a product of their environment”, and “children are influenced by their environment is true. Growing up in a working class community, we had values and beliefs. We were connected in such way that everybody knew everything about every person within the community. It seems more like gossip, but they believed it was a strong form of communication. My community valued their religion. Going to church was the only option in my house likewise with school or work. The one thing I will never forget is the time a boy, Blair Holt, that lived a few houses down from me was shot and killed by a gang leader on the CTA bus. That devastated the entire community. However we came together as a community to put together rallies and marches to help prevent violence. The good thing about the whole experience was the fact that the shooter came forward and turned himself in to the police. Being a part of that experience influenced me to do better for myself. I want an education, I want a career, and I want a family.
Similarly, Le Vaux discusses how a community of teenagers joined a local school at a grocery store, which was not like any other school they attended. The school taught them how to put their differences aside and come together to and sustain, rebuild, and reconnect their community. The interviewee states “the school seeks to create a resources- rich safe space for the youth empowerment and sustainable community development”. The point of the matter most communities are a strongly connected group of people that value one another and have belief that they can help reconnect what everything once was.
Therefore, community is a broadly used word that everyone can relate to and have their own interpretations or meanings. They may be similar or different one way or another. However, Le Vaux and I had similar meaning; personal reconnection, values, beliefs, sustainability and Influential. Communication is key to any outcome of a community.