A Pseudo-Community Avoids Messes

This excellent excerpt is from Community and Growth by Jean Vanier:

Scott Peck talks of pseudo-communities. These are where people pretend to live in community. Everybody is polite and obeys the rules and regulations. They speak in platitudes and generalities. But underlying it all is an immense fear of conflict, a fear of letting out the monsters.

If people start to truly listen to each other and to get involved, speaking from their guts, their anger and fears may rise up and they might start hitting each other over the head with frying pans. There are so many pent-up emotions contained in their hearts that if these were to start surfacing, God knows what might happen! It would be chaos.

But from that chaos, healing could come.
They realize what a terrible mess the community is in, what horrible fears inhabit them. Then they feel lost and empty. What to do; what road to take? They discover that they have all been living in a state of falsehood.

And it is then that the miracle of community can happen! Feeling lost, but together, they start to share their pain, their disillusionment and their love, and then discover their brotherhood and sisterhood; they start praying to God for light and for healing, and they discover forgiveness.

They discover community.