Inch Wide, Mile Deep Community Formation

2,787 Tree With Deep Roots Stock Photos, Pictures & Royalty-Free Images -  iStock
A tree with roots moving in a variety of directions. Public domain image.

I’ve written about this before, but I often think about this phase and organizing vision I learned from adrienne maree brown: Don’t live/serve/act/organize in a way that is a “mile wide and an inch deep.” Let your work and vision be “an inch wide and a mile deep.”

When we think about our sense of calling and purpose, we don’t have to do or be all things. (Also, we can’t). But if we go deep with one vision or a few interconnected visions, we can build communities with great depth.

And then if we take that further, we might also ponder this:
If a community is formed and organized for one thing, they’ll also be organized for more things.

These days, I’m going deep with the epilepsy community in Michigan. And if they can become more interconnected and organized around their shared identity and its needs, won’t they also be organized for other things too? Ways of adding care when it comes to food, housing, and safety? Ways of adding encouragement around their relationships? Ways of making larger meaning in this era of time? Ways of addressing systemic inequalities? Ways of saying no to injustice? Ways of caring intentionally for one another’s multifaceted needs?

If a community is formed and organized for one thing, they’ll also be organized for more things.

Renee Roederer

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