Thursday, February 09, 2006

Creating communities

I've been thinking a lot about identity and belonging recently, amongst other deep things prompted by the Never Again virtual retreat experiment. And of course by That Cartoon Row.

Probably because I'm an only child, I've never been at all good at belonging to organised groups. Never Again, as an organisation in its very early stages, has given me a real sense of being able to act as an individual as part of a wider picture. I've learnt an emormous amount from people with totally different backgrounds from all over the world. I now see my own views as valid, but part of a greater tapestry of views and enjoy the challenge of engaging with perspectives that are totally different. I want to be part of a community that has one thing in common - its own humanity - and works to accept, even enjoy, different views and beliefs. Actions that infringe on others' human rights are indefensible but beyond that our different global systems are completely compatible if we accept that we don't have to be the same, we don't have to agree with each other and constructive conflict is natural, even healthy. Conflict, if partnered with dialogue, leads us to creative ideas that may never have been thought of in our own unchallenged worlds.

So that's my community, one that the internet makes more possible than ever before.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Let's hope future leaders will agree! Unfortuantely, there's a natural human tendency to seek victory over peace, which is why I believe the U.N. has a key role in uniting all nations in a global effort to ensure peace while at the same time accepting diversity between cultures.