Being in a community

Being in a community
By Nicholas Teo
BEING in a community is never an easy thing to do, especially in a community that is basically Christian.

I suppose the biggest obstacle is the presence of something call "Group Dynamics". This is loosely defined as the interactions between people within a group.

After the last few years of experiences within church groups like CSS and St Stephen, I have come to realise that despite all the teachings of Jesus in the bible, the natural laws of human dynamics play a very integral part. In fact, sometimes playing a bigger role than that the ultimate law of "love".

I suppose its just not possible to accept everyone within a group. There would be a main clique, with peripheral people who comes as and when they feel like it. And of course, there would be bound to be outcasts. I figured that its something that is very common in all community, and it takes alot of love, patience and reminders that we have to be tolerant and be compassionate to those people. But do we?

My take is that the Leader of the group plays a very important role, the leader must first be conscious of this "group dynamics" and be aware that there are the 3 main group of people and be sensitive enough to be able to fuse all 3 types into 1.

Afterall, if the leader is not able to control the situation, then who knows if those in the 'main-stream' might slowly become the 'peripherals' or become the 'outcast' when time goes by. And if the leader is able to control it well, we might even see those 'outcast' being more welcomed and be in the 'main' group.

So basically what a leader can do is that beside being a social butterfly, it is to draw attention of those peripherals and outcasts to the cliques such that it can be a concerted effort to be more loving and tolerant.

But on the flip side, what I feel is beyond our control is the "chemistry" between people. I guess in order to be in a relationship, there must be communication. If there is simply nothing to talk about, then how can the relationship grows?

Another contributing factor is the protagonists themselves. If they themselves do not want to open up, how can anyone penetrate in? I know of a certain someone or rather a few of such 'someones' that always justify themselves by saying they like being alone, and that they are 'like that'.

So the most important thing a leader must do is that they have to explain to everyone, no matter what group they belong to, that there is a part to play if you want to belong in a community. We should never stick to ourselves or within the comfort zone.

After all, if being in the comfort zone is what we search for, then we need not even be in a community at all.

In my opening line, I said that being in a community that is basically christian is difficult, and that is because unlike being in a secular group, we cannot let things be.

We just simply cannot say...

I'm like that.

Nicholas Teo was from the Catholic Student's Society when he was in Nus, now he is currently in the youth group of St Stephen.
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