If you’re on social media at all, you’ve seen it. Those people who decide to forgo resolutions and instead choose a word to focus their intentions on. Some people choose words like “growth,” “wellness,” or “light.” Some choose words like “kindness,” “grace,” or “peace.” These are all great words.
I do a mixture of resolutions and a focus word. Having both really helps me set the course of my year. I like to make my goals concrete and attainable: “make twelve new recipes in 2018.” So far I’ve made nine. I might’ve set the bar a little too low.
I also chose a word for 2018, but this year I chose it late. Yesterday, in fact. I’ve spent the whole month tossing words around in my head, but none of them clicked. They just didn’t feel right.
Then an old Facebook memory showed up. I had shared a post from another blogger about hospitality. It’s easy to get caught up in the idea that everything has to look picture perfect to host, but this quote stood out to me: “people are hungry for community, not a five course meal.”
Just like that, I knew my word for the year.
People are starved for community. You can see it.
When we gather ourselves into a hateful rhetoric of “us versus them,” it gives us a community. A group of people we connect with. People who can’t wait to build a wall and send “those Mexicans” back across it? They’re hurting and they want to belong. They’re creating community by othering immigrants— who are also created in God’s image.
The woman at mom’s group who’s just there to judge everyone else? She’s trying to create community too. She may not know it, but odd are? She wants to belong to something. She wants to find her people.
I don’t want to hurt people in my search for community. I don’t think the answer lies in “us, not them.”
I want to create a space for people to come together and reconcile their differences. A space to come together and open up— slowly at first, because vulnerability is hard. A place where others can say “me too.”
I cant fix the lack of community that our society creates. I can’t fix our fast-paced lives and the need to work three jobs. I can’t fix Community and societal leaders who prey upon our need to belong to something greater and twist it into hatred.
But I can open up a space for people to belong, to be believed, and to share their hurts and joys.
I’m taking steps towards this.
I joined a Cookbook Club with some other great women who inspire me in my search for and creation of community.
I’ve reached out to old friends and new acquaintances.
I’ve decided to look past my house’s lack of Pinterest perfection and invite people over for parties and coffee and play dates.
I’ve decided to share my story— the joys and the pains.
This year’s word is a challenge for me. But is anything worth doing if it doesn’t help you grow?
I can’t change the world, but I can change myself.