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  • Writer's pictureTony Holden


In our shifting, changing, demanding world we often wonder how to go about choosing which groups and communities we wish to join and be ‘a paid-up member.’ I don’t mean the givenness of families, close friends, cultures or even locations. I do mean those communities of commitment and interest we choose. A friend described our art community as ‘being in good company.’ People feel the same about belonging with gardeners, musicians [of a certain type], book readers, religious groups [of a certain type], sportspeople [of a certain club], fitness groups, people of your own age – you name it. Our understanding of how groups work and how to use them to enhance our lives is hardly new. Here’s one description from 1958! “A group / is a plurality of persons who interact with one another in a given context more than they interact with anyone else [W J H Sprott 'Human Groups'].” But which to choose and how to contribute – that’s where we have to put in the effort.

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