Signs of Community

by Ross Millar

COMMUNICATION sign

COMMUNICATION

Start with COMMUNICATION. In New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) this is made with two C handshapes going backwards and forwards. COMMUNICATION is a two-way process.

There also has to be something in COMMON. The sign for common is very similar to the sign for OFTEN – there is repeated movement. If we use something often it becomes COMMON.

OFTEN/COMMON sign

OFTEN/COMMON

JOIN/LINK sign

JOIN/LINK

But I was thinking of a common LINK or JOIN, something shared. LINK is like connecting two parts of a chain. At the heart of the Deaf community is a shared language: that’s what LINKs people together.

LINK is like another sign, LOYAL. You can see the LOYAL handshapes moving together, one following the other without breaking the LINK.

LOYAN sign

LOYAL

COMMITMENT sign

COMMITMENT

It’s like COMMITMENT which is needed to build strong COMMUNITY.

CULTURE is like the bigger COMMUNITY that we are a part of. CULTURE has that C-handshape coming around a single common finger.

COMMUNITY sign

COMMUNITY

CULTURE sign

CULTURE

COMMUNICATION –> COMMON –>

COMMITMENT –> COMMUNITY –> CULTURE

(with LINKs and LOYALTY, too).

Some thoughts inspired by DEAF CULTURE … with images from NZSL Online Dictionary

DEAF CULTURE sign

DEAF CULTURE

 

Building Community?

by Ross Millar

How do you build a community?
   No, no, no, no. Wrong words.

How do you plant a community?
    No, no, no. No.

How do you grow a community?
   No, no. No, no.

How do you make a community?
   No. No, no, no. This is too hard.

Anyone for a cuppa tea?

 


Return to Living Words September 2017


John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word

Verse for today

You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the Lord, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by chasing after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes.