An inspirational guide to the 6 core qualities of healthy communities, for anyone looking to build community as a source of connection and a vehicle for social change
After two years meeting with different communities in the US, psychologist Lisa Kentgen identified 6 key traits of vibrant, healthy communities that we can all apply to our own lives and networks:
- Commitment to care
- Skillful conflict resolution
- Bonding rituals
Each chapter focuses on one of these traits, highlighting a particular community as a case study of how it can be put into practice. You’ll learn about a wide range of successful community models, including a tiny-home village for people who had been chronically houseless in Austin, Texas; a study circle to build connection between Native and non-Native people in a small town in South Dakota; a 500-member community choir in Columbus, Ohio; and a Buddhist center in Barre, Massachusetts committed to bringing greater diversity to the Dharma.
Throughout the book, you’ll reflect: How can we cultivate these traits of vibrant community in our own lives? What would it look like to prioritize caring and acceptance in our interactions with others? How can we create a climate of true inclusivity, one where our differences both challenge and strengthen us? How can we learn to feel more comfortable with tension and acquire the skills to move through conflict toward creative solutions? What would happen if we incorporated meaningful rituals into our communities and made a point of celebrating each other?
With intention and practice, we can transform our social relationships and build communities that appreciate difference, encourage authentic expression, and foster an environment of belonging and mutual care. This book will inspire you to make the transformative leap from “me” to “we,” creating communal, loving spaces in which to connect–and thrive–together.