How to Move from Chaos to Community

Posted by on Jul 20, 2016 in ComLead

We are all a part of a group; most of us are part of multiple groups.  These groups may be at work or school, in our personal lives or even the country we live in. In Scott Peck’s book, A Different Drum: Community Making and Peace, he discusses the 4 stages of community and how to recognize which stage a group is in.

The first stage is pseudo community. In this stage interactions can be awkward and reserved.  Conversations tend to be surface level, people are polite, playing it safe, and there is usually no conflict.

The second stage is Chaos. Things start to heat up and arguments and disagreements begin. This stage is all about control and the other person.  Chaos includes judging, blaming, feelings of exclusion and people may get hurt, leave, or even get physical.

The third stage is the emptying/emptiness stage.  This is when someone takes a risk and finally starts to let go.  People stop looking at the other and start looking at the self-how do they feel, what could they do differently. Most importantly people are honest and start really listening instead of trying to fix or solve the issue (s).

Once a group has made it to and through the emptying stage they can move on the final stage-Community. People feel heard, appreciated and accepted. There is no one leader, it is a real camaraderie and everyone is there for each other. People feel that they can be their authentic selves.

When we understand these stages we can start to look at groups we are a part of in our own lives and recognize where we are at in this process of reaching community. Now more than ever it has become clear that our country is in a state of chaos. In order to reach the emptying stage and ultimately the community stage we must hit rock bottom. People need to stop blaming each other and start looking inward. If we have any hope of exiting this state of chaos and coming out on the other side then we have to be vulnerable, take blame, and really listen to one another.  As terrible events ensue and tragedies occur we must remember to still find the light in each day and be the best person we can be. We cannot lose hope because hope is all we have.

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