Reflection Question: What’s the difference between group and community? Membership vs. belonging? When and how do these various concepts (group, community, membership, and belonging) inspire people to strive towards change?
In my perspective, a group is a number of people or things that are classified together. For example, there could be a group of plants in Stella’s apartment. Or a group of shoes sitting in the corner of my closet. In essence, it’s a set of items or people. However, a community goes beyond that, as it refers to a group with particular characteristics in common. To me, a community extends further than a group and encompasses a family of common interests and goals. For example, I’d consider my intern group at my non-profit to be a community, because we’re all bound by the same common interest (which is to help) and the same goal (which is to learn). Community creates that warm feeling we all crave, while groups are more stoic and exact–they simply just are.
Membership is quite literally being a member in some group. Belonging, however, is to be a member in a community. Often, people chase a real sense of belonging in their personal and professional lives. I think our need to ‘belong’ is a fundamental part of being human. While an individual could be a member of some group, this emotional connectivity is what makes them stay. These concepts inspire people to strive towards change, because a sense of belonging in a community is a huge support system for potential greatness. Feeling like you have a place in this world creates companionship and motivation to work harder and create change. At the same time, if an individual’s values align with that of the organization, then the individual will feel no burden in striving towards advancing those values. In my case, because I feel that education is paramount to success, I’m very dedicated to working with my team to develop academic content and use my resources to strive towards positive change. Because as George Bernard Shaw said, “Progress is impossible without change.”