‘People like us’ don’t always look like us. The connection is more than skin deep and isn’t about conformation.
It’s not an exclusive club with insiders who draw a boundary line for outsiders not to cross.
Really healthy communities have porous boundaries that enable a living expression in multiple dimensions. These change and develop over time – sometimes a long time – but always retain that sense of community DNA
I encountered this over the weekend when a disparate group of us travelled to Norwich in Norfolk (UK) for an informal reunion. Some came from across the globe, others from down the road. Some I hadn’t seen in decades.
But those who came shared a community DNA. What had drawn us together all those years ago was still there, and couldn’t help but express itself. Beautifully. Naturally.
This wasn’t about stepping back in time and re-living the past, though we did laugh at our young selves (oh, the hair)! And we left with a sense of grateful wholeness, having been enlarged by the encounter.
The building blocks of what we are creating today need to recognise community DNA. People don’t just bring their best selves to an idea, a concept, or even a cause. They are looking for ‘people like us’ to share meaning and purpose – not in some ethereal sense – but in the stuff of work and life.
And it doesn’t matter if that’s not everyone. It won’t be. But the few will be life-changing.
Finding your voice includes finding your community DNA so you can thrive. Together.