Dr. Dolly's Mine Your Memories™

Communicating, Stories Foster
ME to WE
, Healthy Community

Real relationships, real communication, real community. That’s what everyone wants and needs. The three are inter-related. One feeds the other and simultaneously is nourished by the others. Shared stories are central to all.

And all require a shift from ME to WE. A ME orientation is self-centered, usually myopic. WE implies mutuality. It means reaching out across the abyss of isolation and antagonism, building on common ground, and caring about and contributing to the common good. This “WEness” is the heart of any relationship, from the individual to the global. Moving from ME to WE is essential to any healthy family, or neighborhood, or friendship, or love, or kinship, or organization, or working relationship, or, for that matter, society. Spread the ME to WE commitment beyond a pair or a few to a larger group, and we begin to develop community. 

We yearn for a sense of true community, with strong human connection. Don’t we all want to experience this warm inter-relatedness, not only in our homes, but in our workplaces, businesses, churches, temples, synagogues, schools, universities, leisure lives, neighborhoods, towns, and, well, whatever we call our communities? Whether or not we articulate (or even fully recognize) this hunger for genuine community, we tend to gravitate toward wherever community is promised and tend to stay wherever community is truly found. 

Planned residential and vacation communities are proliferating:neo-traditional neighborhoods, urban villages, co-housing, active retirement communities, condominiums with shared amenities, and other lifestyle and even travel options that tout community. Yes, some places are gated, secure fortresses designed to keep out a variety of threats or perceived threats. But the most successful are learning to bring people together for an authentic sense of community, whether permanent or short term (as with "snowbirds" or certain resorts or eco-tourism environments). Community can be a major marketing attraction, but reality must deliver! Yet real community doesn’t often just emerge accidentally, even with the best intentions of civic leaders, urban planners, architects, residential and resort developers, senior living specialists, ministers, teachers, enlightened business executives and managers, or others who increasingly recognize its importance. 

So how do we make community, nurture it, keep it, assure it for others? Community and communication grow from the same root, communis, which means common. Any kind of community must find and build on common needs, common goals, common understanding. Building and deepening community, achieving anything as a community, requires good communication. Effective communication also requires commonality—some unity of purpose, of language, of motivation, of process. Paradoxically, communities thrive also on diversity—but only IF varying heritage, backgrounds, styles, abilities and other human variables are recognized, acknowledged, and appreciated. When differences are perceived as gifts, or potential gifts, within the larger commonality, groups may achieve the state of unity in diversity. Unity in diversity plus continuous or lifelong learning make a vital, vigorous community. 

If this sounds like talking in circles, it's because the reality is circular. It’s all cyclical, inter-related, and dynamic, like an ever moving infinity symbol. Effective communication feeds community. Healthy communities are both diverse and unified and continuously learning. Thriving communities communicate well, learn constantly, and maintain strong relationships—which foster ever-strengthening community. 

We offer powerful communication strategies that promote, foster, and deepen community. Dr. Dolly’s original SELFSHAPES is one fun learning tool that uses simple geometric shapes to help participants explore personality and behavior, to better understand themselves and others. It’s an invigorating process crucial to developing teams, organizations, or communities (which are really variations on the same theme). CommUNITY Dialogues is a longer process that uses communication, including some life story sharing, to foster and maintain unity within diversity. Writing, from personal and organizational histories to newsletters and booklets, may also work wonders, particularly narrative writing that tells good, true stories.

Mine Your Memories story sharing and story writing workshops and other Dr. Dolly options offer endless opportunities to build and deepen relationships of all kinds and to build and deepen community of all kinds. Ironically, when some people today hear the word “communication,” they think "computers." Computers are simply one mechanical tool for connecting human beings. Hieroglyphics, the quill, the printing press, the radio, television—before all these were stories, human stories. And still, nothing links lives more powerfully or more permanently than true stories well shared. Such linkage can bridge differences and transcend time. 

Tell us your wishes and needs, your purposes and goals, your situation, and we’ll guide you to the next step. Wherever, however, and why ever you want or need to enhance communication; build or deepen community; dream or decide or develop something as a community, we will help.

All services are fully guaranteed to your satisfaction.

Mine Your Memories™ is an affiliate of Berthelot Consulting, Pensacola, FL.
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