Furthermore, he believes that he knows how it can be a better place.
With these words Born begins a 140 page journey into the possibility of community. He shares stories from his own childhood and adulthood, stories from his neighbours, stories from his daughter and from 500 others.
Before setting off on this journey Born sought the insight of 2000 active members of Tamarack (the organisation in Canada that he directs) and received responses from 500 of them. These responses helped form the basis of the book.
Born’s strength as a writer is that he has the ability to draw from these stories useful concepts, techniques and principles. He does so with simplicity and clarity.
Noting that we live in challenging (and chaotic) times Born sees the possibility of community arising in three ways:
- by turning away from others – shallow community.
- by turning against others – fear-based community.
- by turning towards others – creating deep community.
For Born the conscious act of building community begins with story. By sharing stories we discover our shared identity, we begin to understand one another, we celebrate and care for one another, and together we create a better world. This simple process is described by Born through a series of five stories. Each of the stories that he shares (be it his own, or Anita’s, Lucas’, Rita’s, Jill’s or Will’s) is packed with the full scope of human emotion and condition.
Born’s knack is to draw out of each story half a dozen pieces of wisdom that help to deepen our understanding of community and how it is built.
Born’s book is simply written and, in just 140 pages, easily readable. All in all, it is a joy to read. Indeed, what are Born’s final words?
“And what is deep community? It is the process of finding joy – much joy! – together.”