At the risk of being naive(it wouldn’t be the first time), I believe there is no one I know in real life who is aware of my “presence” on LiveJournal. Which is ironic because I stumbled across LiveJournal during one of my many searches on the web looking for people I know/knew in real life. I scour the web with search engines, lurk around Yahoo/MSN/AOL groups and high school/college alumni sites, anything that might contain a name I recognize (usually from my hometown and haven’t seen in decades). My ongoing search to locate and re-establish communication so far has been a one-way experience. Finding dozens of names/email addresses, many of people I once dealt with face-to-face on a first name basis, any contact from me is usually(not always) acknowledged by at least a courteous, if not friendly, reply and then…nothing. Every so often I reach out to the list I keep, usually to distribute some bit of news or contact info for someone else I’ve located but the usual response is a very noticeable silence. I grew up and spent the first 20 years of my life in rural small-town north Florida. So far in life that is longest I’ve lived in one place. Next to that, I’m almost to the 14 year mark in what used to be rural North Carolina in danger of becoming a suburb of Charlotte(albeit 25-30 miles from downtown).
So why is this important or what’s my point? The 20 year period I mentioned, in hindsight I admit, taught me a lesson. Community matters. Community is important. Community gives you security. Community helps provide balance and perspective. Knowing your neighbors, relatives, friends, co-workers, classmates, service providers, local merchants, law enforcement, elected officials and through them networking your way to achieve or acquire what you need for day to day existence is one(if not the most) valuable parts of life. I’ve mentioned before(probably here on LJ) that the idea of community(the way I knew it) is disappearing from society. What does it mean when the community which I most closely associate, in both mind and spirit, is one which I haven’t actually participated in for almost 30 years and am continually trying to remotely re-attach myself?