Building, Maintaining and Modelling “Community”

Fly with eagles, and you will learn to soar. Your choice of company is one of the most important decisions you make. Choose company that affirms your worth and dignity. Choose company that is open to questions and change. Choose company that inspires you to be all that you can be.

Say to yourself…
I deserve the most positive, life-affirming, supportive community!

From Afternoon Affirmations (app)

What more do I need to say about WolfStone Ranch’s goal to build, maintain and model a spiritually and emotionally healthy community than what I’ve already said on my Home page?

First, I think we can all agree that we are indeed living in a messed-up world, right? Don’t get me wrong, my life… and probably yours as well… is filled with many blessings. And yet, whether we’re talking globally, or nationally, or locally… perhaps at your job, or perhaps at home… I’m willing to bet you have problems that create serious stress and maybe even danger in your life. Whether your problem is productivity at work or safety for your family… whether you’re fighting to protect your own rights or for the protection of the most vulnerable among us… I can’t think of a single problem whose solution is not based on our relationships with other people. As I quoted on my Home page, but here I’ll give the complete paragraph, Dr. Peck said in his book The Different Drum…

In and through community lies the salvation of the world. Nothing is more important. Yet it is virtually impossible to describe community meaningfully to someone who has never experienced it ~ and most of us have never had an experience of true community. The problem is analogous to an attempt to describe the taste of artichokes to someone who has never eaten one. Still, the attempt must be made. For the human race today stands at the brink of self-annihilation.

From both his personal and professional experiences, Dr. Peck learned that true community is rare. He himself “stumbled” (his word) into real community three surprising times in his life… at boarding school, then in psychiatric training, and finally at one assignment in the military. These eye-opening experiences led him to build a career around the subject of community, and how to create and maintain it. What he learned he first shared with the world through several popular books.

But actually experiencing something is very different from just reading about it. Which is probably what motivated Peck to create the Foundation for Community Encouragement (FCE)! For some basic information on the FCE and their Community-Building Experiences (CBE), read more…

Or as another best-selling author, Marianne Williamson, has so wisely written…

True change doesn’t emerge just from action; it emerges from genuine understanding. Action that stems from shallow understanding turns out to be shallow action. Action that flows from deeply felt consciousness is action that can change the world. (Perpetual Calendar, August 31)

Relationships are the central issue
in a peaceful, powerful life

From Marianne Williamson’s Perpetual Calendar, August 13

To complicate matters, there are many types of what we loosely call “communities” out there to help us all function better in this world… churches, support groups, activist groups, employment organizations, hobby clubs, you name it. So, we all assume we know what “community” is and feels like. We’ve perhaps learned about the ideals of living and working in community from our churches and other sources of education and inspiration. But Peck claims that we typically use the word “community” in a shallow and meaningless way… and that the vast majority of the groups we call “communities” actually don’t live up to the ideals and promises of true community. As Peck goes on to say…

Community neither comes naturally nor is it purchased cheaply. Demanding rules must both be learned and followed. But there are rules! Quite clear ones. Saving ones. They are not obscure. The purpose of this book is to teach these rules and encourage you to follow them. The hope of the book is that we will learn them first in our personal lives, then apply them universally. For that is how the world will be saved.

As for reading his books on building community, however, one FCE facilitator astonished me by saying that it can actually be better if someone does NOT read them before jumping HEART first (as opposed to HEAD first) into a Community-Building Experience! (Which means that you won’t need any preparation… just make the commitment, put it on your calendar and then show up!)

But I’m just speaking in abstract generalities here, so let me now give you a very concrete example, which even includes quantifiable benefits to developing the communication and relationship skills required for building real community. This will, I believe, convince you that participating in a Community-Building Experience will be well worth your time and effort! This example comes from the National Public Radio program called “Invisibilia”, an episode entitled “The New Norm”. Read more…

While in this “Invisibilia” example Claire used techniques different from those used in the FCE’s Community-Building Experience, her methods were designed to impart essentially the same knowledge, and to practice essentially the same processes, to reach the identical goals of honesty and authenticity, teamwork and humility, mutual respect, fairness and compassion.

So, let me ask you, can you see the parallels between successfully changing the macho Southern oilman’s culture for safety and productivity… and our trying to change the Midwest agricultural ethos for the compassionate treatment of animals (be they pets, livestock or wildlife)? “Nuf said!

Well, not quite! I’d like to share some additional thoughts on why I believe that Community Building is the key to any successful activism. Read more...

Our Mission

  • Building a Spiritually-Based, Activist Community around the Ethos of Compassionate Treatment of All Animals
  • Creating an Environment that Supports Healing for All Living Beings
  • Canine & Feline Rescue, Rehabilitation and Adoption Within Our Own Growing Community

Contact us:

WolfStone Ranch
Farmington MO 63640
Email • 573.756.1367

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Please Note

WolfStone Ranch is a small, exclusive facility. We are not a typical shelter open to the general public. We do not accept owner surrenders because we are simply not set up to be that kind of rescue operation. Instead, we are able to take in only a small number of “unadoptable” shelter animals in need of intensive rehabilitation. Once we are able to adopt out one of these animals, we are then able to pull another “unadoptable” animal from one of the local shelters so that they can take in more animals in dire need of rescue. With this in mind, we suggest that you contact the Farmington Pet Adoption Center if you need to relinquish an animal (be it your own pet or a stray you’ve picked up). Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!

Links of Interest

Farmington Pet Adoption Center
Humane Society of Missouri
Best Friends Animal Society
KRCU, Public Radio for Southeast Missouri
St. Louis Public Radio News