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The Beauty Of Community

Post Published: 24 December 2009
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Category: Building A Support Community, Dear Thyroid News
This post currently has 2 responses. Leave a comment

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about community and our community; how we built our community and what our community means to me. I’ve tweeted about it and discussed it on Facebook.

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 to—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,

Katie

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2 Responses to “The Beauty Of Community”

  1. Lori says:

    Beautifully said and one word that really sticks out for me is “heartbeat”. This community has the strongest, most powerful heartbeat EVER!

    Katie, hope you don’t mind but all I needed to do was copy and paste. These words came from your heart and soul. I feel the same in my heart and soul.

    I Repeat:
    Because of you, Katie and every other thyrella and thyfella, 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!!!!!!

    Katie wrote them first but these are my heartfelt words also! I truly don’t think I could drag my fat ass out of bed most days, if you all were not here in the unconditional, loving and nonjudgemental way that you are. It is this community that lifts my spirit and makes me want to fight for better “quiality” life.

    (((HUGS)))

    Lori

  2. amy says:

    Aww, Thanks Katie! This is an awesome community! Could you imagine a dear thyroid rally? That would be crazy cool. Merry Christmas! Love, Amy

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