Ripples v7.23: Ripples of COMMUNITY!

Ripples v7.23: Ripples of COMMUNITY!
Monday, June 6, 2005
a FREE weekly splash from Paul & The Ripples Project


Many candles can be kindled from one candle without diminishing it.
-The Midrash, submitted by Cris D., Madison WI


How does one keep from “growing old” inside?
Surely the only way to make friends with time is to stay friends with people.
…Taking community seriously not only gives us the companionship we need,
it also relieves us of the notion that we are indispensable.
-Robert McAfee Brown, submitted by Katie M., Cedarville IL


Crazy, fun week I had (I saw Yoda and the latest Star Wars movie–can you tell?)! I began with a fun adventure at California Polytechnic State Univ. to wrap up their volunteer training of 550 orientation leaders who pledged to assist new students as they arrive next fall. Then it was off to Michigan for a weekend with several of my grad school buddies (and their spouses and kids!). I ended my week bonding with a new friend who gave me a ride back to Madison when a storm diverted our flight to Milwaukee.

The journey provided powerful lessons about the importance of community. During the first part, I encountered hundreds of remarkable students who donate precious amounts of their time, energy and passion to help strangers with one of the most difficult transitions of their lives. On the second part, I reconnected with dear friends who helped each other through the challenges of graduate studies and have stayed in touch through a decade of developing careers, expanding families, and living busy-crazy lives. My final leg was a fantastic reminder that complete strangers can quickly become neighbors when you seize the right opportunity.

Community sometimes exists as a geographic area occupied by a group of people who develop varying degrees of interaction. More often, however, community evolves from individuals coming together by chance who then choose to carve out interdependent relationships that allow them to serve others while achieving their own goals. I hope you can spend a moment this week to appreciate and acknowledge the communities to which you belong: it could be a campus, a workplace, a neighborhood, or even a collection of old friends who need to be brought together for a reunion.

I feel blessed to include the Ripples community as one of my great sources of energy and mutual benefit….and as always I send you


p.s. If your last name begins with F, G, H, I, J or K, can you take a moment this week to tell me what you like about Ripples and anything we could do to make it better? THANKS!

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