Thoughts on Diversity and Unity
The community in Siebenlinden consists of hundred grown ups (60f/40m) and fourty children and youngsters. The age varies from 1 and 78 years.
I imagine a community as a circular entity, in which every member represents the whole, while adding to it their special color and fragrance. Every member has a particular and fundamental role which cannot be replaced by anybody else. Only a community with a multitudinous array of individuals striving for unity stays dynamic and alive.
A wide range of diversity like this can be both a blessing and a challenge for any intentional community. And, depending on the phase a particular community is going through in their development, certain roles are likely to be over- or underestimated at any moment in time:
We need the gentle and intuitive beings that hold the space for the vision of the community, as well as the meditative dreamers. And then there are the very grounded people who anchor and carry the whole like roots and pillars; and the preservers of rules, the givers of structure, and the special ones that are able to keep the complete circle in their heart and mind with love.
We are blessed with the members that inspire us through their patience and acceptance in the face of ailments or old age. We would not want to be without those that bring beauty, creativity, ease and playfulness into the village, and we also need the starry-eyed idealist trying to make this world a better place. We could not survive without the protectors and guardians, as well as the makers and implementors who bring the vision into matter.
We must not forget the weak and frail ones that help the others to develop their strength and their compassion. The children are as important as the people of age. The children are the future – they delight us and test us and keep us awake with their love, curiosity, reflection and wisdom.
In our daily life we tend to forget how precious all these wonderful human fragments of the mosaic are. They have the same value and serve the whole entity, and they all deserve the same esteem and and gratefulness. So from time to time it is good to remember and appreciate our dissimilarities!