Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Community-- and why I'm glad to be a realist

Jean Vanier, founder of the L'Arch communities, has written,
"Almost everyone finds their early days in a community ideal. It all seems perfect. They feel they are surrounded by saints, heroes, or at the least, most exceptional people who are everything they want to be themselves. And then comes the let-down. The greater their idealization of the community at the start, the greater the disenchantment. If people manage to get through this second period, they come to a third phase -- that of realism and of true commitment. They no longer see other members of the community as saints or devils, but as people -- each with a mixture of good and bad, darkness and light, each growing and each with their own hope. The community is neither heaven nor hell, but planted firmly on earth, and they are ready to walk in it, and with it. They accept the community and the other members as they are; they are confident that together they can grow towards something more beautiful."

I have found this to be true for me. What about you?


  1. True, true, TRUE!!! I've experienced all 3 stages and upon coming to peace with the last, have experienced more success and joy in life. It seems to me that many people are stuck in the second, and at war with the first. I've found it easiest to move past difficult social/cultural experiences within a given community of people (friends/work/church) just by taking this worldview.

  2. Great quote. Find the people you can stick it out with!


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