The Beauty Of Community
Recently, I threw out a topic on community at the Dear Thyroid Forums. I know I asked a lot of questions, but I’d love for you to join the discussion and share your thoughts on the matter, if you don’t mind, of course.
To be honest, I don’t know where to start. So many thoughts are swirling inside my head, mostly adjectives: gratitude, awe, surprise, generosity, love, kindness, authenticity and sacredness. Attempting to drop that into a tidy post with a shiny ribbon, well that’s going to take a minute — bear with me, please.
To begin with, I have learned that community isn’t about any specific individual. Community is the embodiment of its members, the collective experience. What drives the objectives, and in this case, support, awareness, writing letters to and from our thyroids, sharing our stories on Facebook and in the Forums, is what makes a community sacred, inspiring and interesting.
The heartbeat of a community is the sum of its members and their commitment to each other and willingness to give so much of themselves. Each member of this community is courageous and brave.
Each day, everyone shows up, regardless of how we feel. In fact, sharing how we feel is the cornerstone of this community. The breadth and scope of our willingness to say everything, well that’s the greatest gift of all. There’s a kind of fearlessness each member of our community demonstrates, an outspokenness and unwillingness to settle for anything less than the best.
DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW FUCKING INCREDIBLE THAT IS?!
If I were to cite all of the examples, this post would be a mile long, so I’ll roll out with the most recent. A new member of our community boldly spoke up about her thyroid cancer and desire to connect with other thyroid cancer patients. We posted about it on Twitter and Facebook. Scores of thyroid cancer patients, survivors and patients with thyroid disease gathered to support her. Not because we had to. Rather, we wanted toÃ¢â‚¬”genuinely.
A patient with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is struggling to get proper treatment because she doesn’t have insurance or a job, imagine the enormity of her burden?! Once again, collectively we swarmed together, to lend support, provide an ear to bend, extend resources and anything else we could genuinely do.
I will spend every day of my life thanking you for being you, for creating this community and for making it what it is today. The life force of this endeavor has everything to do with you.
Because of you, I challenge myself to be a better person daily, I drag my fat ass out of bed knowing that I won’t have to go it alone. I have you, I know that regardless of what the world brings me, I can face it because I’m not facing it alone.
A million thank you’s.
More love and gratitude than you can imagine,