What does ‘community’ mean to you?

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Every time I have ever written the word “community” in a story I cringe a little.

Not because of the word itself but because of what it has come to mean — or not mean. Thrown out willy-nilly in headlines and stump speeches, “being a community” has entered a zone of vague jargon-speak in the same company as “being on the same page,” “win-win situations” and “synergize.”

Sure, it sounds nice, but what the heck does it mean?

I believe the real intent of the word is to mean a mashup of “we’re all in this together,”  “we’re gonna have each other’s backs” and “we are working toward similar goals that we can all be stoked about.”

Instead, “community” has been bastardized and watered down to the point where its vagueness approaches something between “the people in your neck of the woods” or “the general public.”

So when I want to talk about what a community news source such as WHIDBEY DAILY should be, let me be clear.

I believe in the power of this community that is evident every day in the level of volunteerism, civic-mindedness and downright niceness of Whidbey Island residents. Our island is populated with people who are educated and passionate, experts and veterans, philanthropists and humanitarians.

While our approaches to each communal problem may be different — and it will always be so — let us find commonality in our humanity, in our desire for good things and a love for this beautiful place in which we live.

My favorite synonym of “community” is “commonality,” which should be the touchstone for all our public dialogue with each other. And it is my sincere hope that WHIDBEY DAILY will be a place where we can really be in this together, have each other’s backs and join together to do stuff we can all be stoked about.

Please share with me what “community” means to you. Your submissions, your expertise and your story ideas are always welcome at editor@whidbeydailynews.com.

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