The Different Types of DecidingToBeBetter communities
by Marshall Brain
DecidingToBeBetter communities come in many different shapes and sizes, because different people like to express themselves in different ways. Because there is a wide variety of flavors, chances are that you can find a flavor in your local area that fits your personality perfectly.
At one end of the scale there is the large-scale version of DecidingToBeBetter. This kind of DecidingToBeBetter community might have 5,000 families that are participating in a big, vibrant community of people. A chapter like this would have its own building that it has built or leased and a wide range of programs and amenities to make life better for its members. These amenities might include:
They accept donations or dues from members, and the whole operation (buildings, land, utilities, etc.) is paid for in fiscally sound, responsible ways. These communities are incredibly well organized and powered almost entirely by members who volunteer their time.
- A wide range life-improvement classes in areas like ethics, weight loss, personal finance, relationships/marriage, parenting, etc., as well as general-interest classes ranging from karate to cooking to CPR for all ages.
- A commercial kitchen and the ability to serve meals for hundreds of people at a time, using this capability to host huge community meals that bring their members together on a regular basis.
- A number of community service programs and charitable services in the local community.
- Help for home-schooling families provide a better education for their children, and/or charter schools.
- Active programs to help their members start new businesses and improve existing businesses.
- Programs for teens, for parents, for couples, for seniors, etc. and a movie theater where they present movies, documentaries and seminars.
- Soccer leagues and basketball leagues for both kids and adults, with full-sized indoor basketball courts on the premises and soccer fields outside.
- Fitness centers and programs to help keep members fit and healthy.
- Global initiatives
- And so on...
A group at this scale would have nearly round-the-clock activities. The whole group might meet together in large gatherings once or twice a week, say on Sunday morning and Wednesday night, but there would always be something going on within sub-groups in the form of classes, activities, meetings and so on.
At the other end of the spectrum is the small, intimate group. This might be five to ten DecidingToBeBetter members who meet in someone's living room once or twice a week. Often a community like this will form to work on a specific problem or a specific area, or they may aspire to become a larger group and this is the seed that is starting the process. For example, all eight members are interested in learning something together, or in working on a specific community project intensely together, or in starting a business together. Working on a project like this within the DecidingToBeBetter framework is helpful because: a) it establishes a foundation in terms of the moral and ethical aspirations (also known as the values or the character (see also goals)) of everyone involved, and b) it gives the group access to the DecidingToBeBetter network of members and experience, making it much easier to share ideas, solve problems and get advice.
A group like this may be as simple as meeting together to learn a foreign language and having pot luck dinners once a week in Bob & Mary's kitchen.
In between those two ends of the spectrum there are all kinds of variations: A group of 100ish families meeting in a small town who want to create a sports program for their kids; a group of 200ish families in a city who are all homeschooling and want to work together to create some higher-level classes for both kids and adults, and may even want to consider opening their own charter school; A group of three people who are very passionate about cleaning up a local park and starting a community garden, and are also looking for others who share their passion and want to participate; a group of 50 people who want to share fitness equipment, and who rent a local storefront to do it; A group of people who gather together primarily to barter babysitting services amongst themselves, but who also very much enjoy getting together for group activities for the kids and adults; A group that wants to create a food bank and hospice to help elderly members of the community; A group that wants to build awareness for an endangered species in Africa... And so on.
In other words, if you are interested in becoming the best human being possible, in improving yourself through classes and activities, in participating in good works in your community and in making the world a better place, DecidingToBeBetter is for you. Chances are that you can find a DecidingToBeBetter group that is perfect for you. But if not, consider starting your own DecidingToBeBetter community with like-minded friends.