For me where I live is all about community–here I dream of a place that’s not just the DePauw community versus the Greencastle community, but simply one collective community. My experience of these has come mostly through the lens of my community service experiences.
The heart of community is in the everyday, casual interactions of its people. It’s the smiles on the people’s faces as they wave to an old friend across the street while they drive by. I am not involved in community service for any formal reason. What got me hooked was the realization that I wanted to “be a part of something bigger than me.” That’s what community is. It’s all the people who come together to make up a collective. It’s the family that finds themselves down on their luck and is supported by their neighbors. It’s the exchanges between two people.
Community is what you make it. It can be big or small, open or closed, but it has to be yours. One has to take part ownership for the collective. Each person has a responsibility to find his or her place in the community and put genuine interest in that position. This isn’t to say that one has to stick to the status quo of where others place them, it means that one actively figures out where his or her talents, passions, and skills meets others’ greatest needs.
This is what community is and DePauw and Greencastle have built upon my former understanding of community to bring me to these conclusions.