July 12, 2018 Common Good

Associations Use Consistency and Boundaries to Set Intentions

As we read earlier:

Associations are a primary place in community where individual capacities get expressed.


 If I want to manifest my kindness or generosity, and I want to do it in a collective way, then I create or join an association. Association is a structural property of a competent community. It is the aspect of community that is repeatable; it has continuity and membership. Otherwise, it is a meeting. If you and I want to have breakfast together, good. If we want to ask two friends to join us and have breakfast every month, then we are an association. You can tell who is in an association. It has a boundary.

What meet-ups are repeatable in your life? How do these regular or boundaries, friendships, or associations, help build momentum and impact to characteristics you value? Does meeting once a year to camp with families help you bring local possibilities to life? Does joining a cohort of neighbors help you proliferate kindness beyond what you practice in your home? Does meeting with colleagues for breakfast help you keep generosity at the center of your work?

And going a step further, do those who expect these regular meets come to feel a sense of belonging because you all keep them up? Celebrate this sense of community today. And if you feel a longing for this why not make a short list of possible communities to join or form, and start by inviting others.


McKnight, John. The Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods (pp. 71-72). Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Kindle Edition.

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