In a recent newsletter Perry Marshall was talking about communities. Perry said a community was:
A community is a group of people who share the same stories
We’re all part of a community in many ways. The town we live in is our primary community. The people we work with is another community. The people we hang out with is yet another community.
Communities are all around us and we interact with each community in different ways. Just because we’re part of a community doesn’t mean we’re active members in that community.
I live in a small town just north of San Francisco and it’s a fantastic community. But I wasn’t always an active member of the community. For the first 10 years that I lived in my community, I just slept there. I would get up at 5 AM every morning and drive to work south of San Francisco. I would work until 9 PM every night, drive home and go to bed. I worked most weekends and rarely took vacation so I bet I didn’t even go downtown more than a handful of times in 10 years.
When I quit my job 10 years ago and started working from home I became an active member of my community. Today I’m a very active member of the community, volunteering at my kids school, coaching youth sports and helping raise money for the local schools and a community sports field.
For the past month my son’s high school baseball team was on a roll and the community really came together to support the team. His high school is an incredible community in itself. There is a strong school spirit that you just don’t see anymore. The students support each other and attend each other’s events whether it’s a sporting event, a play or a concert. The kids don’t only attend the events but they are active participants.
It’s great to see the stands full at almost all sporting events. During the recent baseball playoffs, hundreds of parents and students were actively cheering at the games, led by the basketball coach! Community members even came even though they didn’t have kids on the team or even in the school.
The student body knows all of the school cheers and is always the loudest student cheeering section in the county. They’re active and loud but they always demonstrate good sportsmanship. They cheer loudly for our team and they don’t taunt the opposition which has become the norm in many schools. It’s a fantastic community and I’m so happy to be part of it.
Last week the baseball team made it to the Northern California Championships and we got to play in the Oakland Coliseum where the A’s play. It was a dream come true for the boys, getting to play on a major league field (the parents were also pretty excited!). The most amazing part was that over 1000 people showed up to cheer for our team. Our school has only 1000 students and the town is about 10,000 people. It was an incredible community event that I’ll never forget.
Ted Prodromou is an online marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) consultant who has been working with the internet since 1991, long before Al Gore invented it.