Living in a Community Setting


By: Steven Taylor

What is community? This can mean a lot of different things to many people, I myself struggle to define the word. If you google the meaning of community you will get this definition “a group of people living in the same place or have a particular characteristic in common”. This can clearly be seen in Hawley. We all live and serve together with the common goal of environmental education and conservation. But how do we function as a community you might ask?

 Here in Hawley everything is done as a community from chopping firewood to early Monday morning community meetings where decisions are made regarding the function of the community. These are always an interesting sight to see as we operate under a consensus decision making model in which every community member must agree on a given proposal for it to pass. This can often mean a lot of discussion about many topics.

 The one thing I can say for sure now is that community can really put you to the test. All 18 of us live under that same roof with very little personal space this forces us to be creative to meet every community member’s needs, we are by no means perfect but we have made a lot of progress with each member offering their own support to keep the community functioning. I find myself with each passing day becoming closer to my fellow community members. I think the power of community lies in the members. Something special about Hawley is that if you are ever having a bad day there is 17 other people to lift you up. If one community member is ill everyone pitches in to help. I think what makes the community in Hawley so special is the power that lie within the heart of each member.