I have noticed that motives for participating in a community matter and determine overall attitude, perception, and contribution. Two salient motives underscore this observation. One motive is to RECEIVE from the community that which will benefit them. The potential for them to benefit from the community is their primary purpose. Contributions are made in hopes that the kind gesture will be reciprocated. Focus seems to be squarely placed on the personal increase or improvement. The other motive is to GIVE to the community. The community and the interweaved relationships it represents is paramount in this motive. Less concern is given to personal benefit while acknowledging that as all are improved the personal portion follows.
I am fond of saying “we all need each other.” No true improvement is achieved in isolation. It is in the delicate and intricate ways in which we relate to one another that growth occurs, improvements are made, and true benefit derived. I wonder whether we truly realize how much we influence one another for good or ill. Where do we find purpose to guide the use of our influence?