Feb 16, 2010

Elly Schoenburg - Springfield High School
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

I believe in community. When people think of the word community, they generally think of their neighborhoods, towns, or school districts. When further analyzed, the word community can have a massive array of meanings. Communities form for several different reasons and serve several purposes. I believe that without community, life would be simply too much to bear. Some communities form in response to disasters, such as the recent earthquake in Haiti, which devastated the entire country. It is somewhat astonishing to see Americans join together to support this cause. The political, regional, and racial lines have all been blurred, and the people of the United States and the world are truly uniting in order to aid the people of Haiti.

Like the air we breathe, communities are all around us, and they help us to survive, achieve, and overcome different aspects of life.

Relief efforts in Haiti serve as an excellent example of a global community, but smaller communities are formed daily. After my mother was diagnosed with cancer just three years ago, our community of family and friends did not even wait three days to start helping my family live through the crisis. One of my mother’s friends organized a meal plan for us so families could sign up to bring dinner to us six nights a week for three months. As my mother was receiving chemotherapy treatments, these family friends would put our dinner in two large blue bins sitting in the backyard. Each night, my mother would uncover the lids of the two bins and pull out a main entree, a side dish, and a baked good. Although the meals could get monotonous at times, my family and I would often marvel at our truly astounding community. Without this community, it would have been extremely difficult to get through the hardship of my mother’s illness.

Communities do not have to form in response to tragic earthquakes or illnesses they also form for weddings, bat mitzvahs, and basketball games. A prime example of this type of community would be the boys City  Basketball Tournament. Each year, Springfield High School comes together as a community in order to support the basketball team and win the spirit award. Students go to such great lengths to create a supportive and unified environment. The convention center is immersed in a sea of red t-shirts, and as each member of the crowd stomps his or her feet, it feels as though the city itself is shaking. When the announcer at city tournament proudly declares that Springfield High School is the winner of the spirit award, it truly feels as though your family, or your community, has accomplished something monumental.

People form communities due to the similarities they share. I would consider myself to be a part of several communities; I am a member of the student council, I am a member of the Springfield Jewish community, and I am a member of the United States. Like the air we breathe, communities are all around us, and they help us to survive, achieve, and overcome different aspects of life. I honestly believe that nothing can be accomplished without the help of community.