“Utazni,” in Hungarian, means “to travel” or “to journey.” Life is a meaningful expedition. For me, “traveling” well is a natural result of living in authentic community with others. I think most of us would like to have a formula, a predictable road map to success and happiness. But life can be a little mysterious. There are questions. If someone doesn’t have many questions, then he is not human. Sometimes I’m not sure how human I am myself. And sometimes I’m not aware of my own questions till I go to a coffee house and have a good conversation with a friend.
If I have a question and I keep it to myself, that question becomes a burden slowing my pace. If I honestly share my question among safe friends, allowing for community ownership, that question becomes a source of energy propelling me farther. In this sense, authentic community keeps me moving, growing and discovering. And there’s nothing like sharing a discovery with a friend!
Authentic Community is not the road map, but it might be the guard-rails. I’d venture to say that having authentic community is almost a matter of life and death. It can keep me from driving off the road. With it, I’m in the process of living. Without it, I’m in the process of dying.
Journeying in community seems to depend on selflessness and orientation toward others. I’m not sure, but I’ve been wondering if the following statement is true: I can only understand my own questions and needs as I give attention to the questions and needs of others.
On a related note, we’ve had fun learning some Hungarian sayings lately. One of our favorites so far is, “Sok jó ember kis helyen is elfér” (thanks Fanni!). In English, it means something like, “In good company, there is enough room even in a small place.” Isn’t that great! A friend is more important than being physically comfortable.
Fanni also pointed me to a very cool website called “Fresh A.I.R.”, and I think this is an interesting on-line version of a growing, exploring community. The site’s vision is to promote international understanding, and it hosts articles written by young adults around the world. Recently, the topics have included voting, security, and gender barriers. Fanni wrote a great article on voting! Check it out.
Lastly, I’m really excited that a couple friends of mine are coming through Budapest this week. We’re going to visit a friend in Vukovar Croatia next Friday. More on this later.