I belong to a few online groups; one was having a discussion thread called "To Give or To Get - That is the question!" I responded, as did many others, and a few people have said it was helpful for them to think about how I had phrased things, so here's what is essentially a repost:
If you think of it in terms of how you're building social,
intellectual, and physical assets (as opposed to financial assets),
then it's easier -- I believe -- to talk about communities in general. So I think in terms of building:
If you think of it in terms of how you're building social, intellectual, and physical assets (as opposed to financial assets), then it's easier -- I believe -- to talk about communities in general.
So I think in terms of building:
It helps of course to know where each community is in our "portfolio" of communities.
[The community in question] is a local, heterogeneous professional community (for me), which means it's going to be strongest in the area of social ties to business, but probably also useful as a way to meet a wide variety of people who are focused on career goals and for whom their careers are a meaningful part of their lives. Beyond that, it's hard to say.
I agree [with those who have said earlier] that the point of communities is to give; then the community, if it can, gives back. If we think about for example the community surrounding our kids' schools, it's easier to imagine how that looks. We give to the school to make the school stronger. We assume that with increasing support the school will be better able to do its bit to help all the kids, including ours.
I think the proximity of "being paid money for work" in a professional community brings up the idea of "transaction" or "give to get." After all, the point of money is to facilitate transaction. But that's not actually what *community* is about; community is about shared resources and 'uplift'.