As we prepare to welcome many new neighbors over the next several months, it feels like a good time to take a look again at what we mean by “community.” Looking at many different formal definitions, I like this one: a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists.
I like it because it is clear that while we have many different things in common, we are not clones AND that we are distinct from the larger society – which we can take in a couple of ways. One way that rings true to me is that we are distinct from the larger society of senior living. Certainly as a nonprofit we stand out from the larger group of for-profit companies in this field. Additionally, as an independent community, we are able to provide partnership between residents and staff at a level that is quite uncommon. And this becomes a virtuous circle – the relationship creates positive outcomes which, in turn strengthens the relationship, so that over time we have built a fairly amazing level of respect, knowledge, trust, and (yes, I’ll use the word) love within and among the residents who live and the staff who work at Rose Villa. And even though I tend to be the person doing a lot of the public speaking, this value and practice is shared 100% by every member of our management team and, I hope and believe, at least the majority of the staff here. It is WHY we work here.
The chance to partner, try new things, get and give feedback, try again, laugh at our mistakes, shout out our triumphs, all of it TOGETHER is a great gift. The opportunity to really create your own life and work is always with you. Every day it opens up with infinite possibility. To be shoulder to shoulder in this miracle with all of you is one of the biggest blessings of my life.
…And THAT’S what I mean when I talk about community at Rose Villa.