The Value of Community

communityOne of the things we are dealing with in the small denomination I helped to found over a decade ago is that some members don’t seem to understand the value of community, or what it means to be lifted up by a community – principally that one then has an obligation to the entire community. It’s a lesson we haven’t learned in our society in decades. Perhaps an example would help.

Suppose you applied for a job that you were slightly under qualified for, but decided to give it a whirl anyway. You go through the process of interviewing, and somewhere along the way the hiring manager says, “you know, Fred, to be honest there are more qualified candidates, but I like you and believe in you and so I am willing to take a chance on you.” He makes you an offer, and you start working with the company. A year later you hear that Fred is on the chopping block because there are some allegations that you know are not true, but you are concerned that stepping forward may bring you under greater scrutiny. What do you do?

The truth is that you have an obligation both to Fred and to the community that is your employer to speak up. In order for the community to remain, or to become, a healthy community you have to speak up even if it costs you your job. If you decide it’s not your responsibility to speak up, you seal your own fate by your inaction.

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