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The Concept of Community

By Heather O’Brien

In a previous article on frith, I raised the topic of community. I’d like to expand on that and how it relates to modern day heathens. We live in an exceptionally mobile world in which we form personal and social ties in a multitude of ways. Does this mean that our communities are expanded, or are these extended relations just an addition to our social outlets, external to true community?

From my perspective, community is formed by those who are closest to me at home, my family being the central point of focus. It is for these people that I put in time and energy, with whom I work according to our shared values, ideals, and understandings. It is their welfare and well-being that I am dedicated to. These individuals are my innangarð. Providing for their needs, establishing rules and disciplines, teaching my children, and continuously building on those communal concepts are directly tied to the continued prosperity of my home and the people who live under its roof. Real community comes with direct personal responsibility and accountability, whether the members are family or an extension of it.

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