13. The Community

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.”
John Donne, No Man is an Island, A Selection from the Prose.

The community forms the second distinct layer of reciprocal obligation. Its function in the individual’s achievement of the Individual Purpose is analogous to that of the extended family (birth family and spouse’s birth family), however, it differs in that the ties are more tenuous, and the obligations are based on the principle of reciprocity as opposed to the direct achievement of the Individual Purpose as found in the family. While it may have overlapping membership with the extended family, the community is fundamentally separate and distinct. Consisting of the combination of individual families for mutual support in achieving their own Individual Purposes.

The community exists only to support the survival of the constituent families. As such, membership of the community is predicated on the continuing support of each citizen of the said community for the survival of the other families/citizens in the community. So-called communities that lack this nature are not communities at all but rather collections of individual families or, at most, collections of disparate communities. As such, the term ‘community’ connotes only groups of families/citizens who recognise mutual standards of behaviour and the reciprocal obligations to each other. This is the meaning of community from here on in.

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