OurPangea is built by people. And transforming an idea into reality is a process, a fun one. What I’ve learned is that it’s a process best done by a team.
Teams are interesting. Everyone brings their strengths, but also their weaknesses. It’s a matter of figuring out how to motivate everyone towards a single goal and helping each member apply themselves in that direction. Celebrate strengths and help with weaknesses.
Networking around Austin has opened my eyes to the wonderful diversity of people, but what strikes me most is that everyone has something that makes them happy. It’s incredible how diverse these things can be, and it makes me wonder how many people out there share the same interests with me? If only we had OurPangea to help.
While networking around Austin has opened my eyes to the granularity of people, the granularity of people has opened my eyes to the similarities. Austin is a weird place. So weird they probably take that as a compliment… There are so many people here, but at the root of everyone lies the same hopes and fears. It’s kind of wonderful.
At the root of OurPangea, we hope that each user finds a similar experience. That of difference and acceptance. When everyone is working towards the same goal, in this case representing culture we will have to accept the differences along with the similarities, both strengths and weaknesses.
Teams are interesting because of their diversity. United toward a single goal we learn from the strengths of others and hope to improve our weaknesses. It’s an interesting experience where we learn the value of others, but most importantly we learn how to value others.
Have you ever heard the expression “people make the experience?” It’s a pretty self-explanatory idiom used to express how in certain cases what and where you are doing something is less important that who you’re doing it with. It’s a tribute to the mindset that anything can be enjoyed –from waiting in line at the DMV or getting stuck out in a rainstorm—when you’re with the right people.
It’s a sentiment I share and I think it’s one that most people would agree with. For one, it’s something I think everyone can relate to. I think everyone has had an experience that has been improved just by being with a group of fun friends. On a deeper level, I think it’s the people themselves that create a great community.
To illustrate this, just imagine being a part of a community that sounds really interesting, like ping pong, for example. Now think about how that community of ping pong players would be different if you didn’t get along with the rest of the people or thought they were boring. Ping pong is a ton of fun (at least to me), but with the wrong people it’s just as unexciting and undesirable as a tax auditing community (no offense to the tax auditors out there).
Worse, you might begin to see this ping pong community as nothing more than a responsibility you have to organize events you don’t want to go to and coordinate plans with people you don’t want to see. You could lose sight of the love you had for ping pong and the reason you joined in the first place. To create an awesome community the setting needs to be right and there’s no better way to create an awesome environment that to get great people together.
This is one of the reasons high school and college students can take trips abroad and have a fantastic time if they like the people they’re with. It’s why Rick felt so at home during his trip to Spain and why Noah and I have developed a love for Austin. It’s people.
So over the next few months we want to celebrate and recognize the importance of great people in communities. We’re going to be taking a closer look at what makes individuals importance in the scope of communities and how people are the ones who breathe life into our world. Stay tuned!!
What does culture mean to community? Everything.
“Culture” is defined as the “customary beliefs, social norms and material traits of a particular social group.” It comes from the latin word cultura, meaning “growing” or “cultivation,” which makes a great deal of sense when you consider the origins of our own cultures and how they evolve over time.
Culture is both a personal and collective experience. Our cultural experiences and identity grow from the communities we are a part of. It starts at home and spirals outward as we interact with the world around us. As a people, we derive our values and world views from the people and communities closest to us. Whether those values come from your parents, your teachers, your friends or from iconic cultural figures, the values we take away from our communities all profoundly impact the way we see and experience life.
That’s why community is so important.
The sharing of cultural values is undoubtedly give-and-take. We learn from others as others learn from us. While community might start as a relatively small group, people continue to expand their communities and the cultures that exist within those communities as their lives go on. This type of sharing helps us gain a greater understanding of each other, which is a necessary step in bringing us together.
Whether we define our communities as our families or our hometowns or our country, our cultural values will always be shaped by those communities while also holding those communities together. As we strive toward a global community it’s important that we remember this and discover the things that we all have in common. From our perspective at OurPangea it’s mutual understanding and common values that play a huge role in what can ultimately bring us together and make the world a better place.