To say that intentional community is a challenge is a bit of an understatement. Never have I ever been in a situation where I constantly question my Character. We are all very vulnerable and this is the age where we truly figure out what core beliefs are now that we are out of the shadow of the wings of our parents. This is the time where we are shook and challenged. Where we figure out who we really are. That’s a really scary thought.
Something that I try and remind myself daily is that this program is bigger than just my life. I am representing a legacy that has been passed down to me. Many have put in work to make JSC what it is. Many have gone through the trails that we are all going through right now and that thought makes me smile. Knowing that they all made it through and have become a better person because of it.
This community keeps you accountable for every action you make and ensures that we are conscious of every ones feelings and needs. In a world where many times this was not the standard I was held to, this is refreshing and overwhelming at the same time. I have already shared with my housemates that spontaneity was something I was generally accustomed to. I typically did things as they appeared in my life. I had a general agenda but it was flexible according to what interested me the most. I am thankful to have a community that is showing me that although this is good, having a schedule isn’t all that bad. It keeps you accountable and helps to create a sense of keeping your word sacred. This is something that I may have lacked. I am changing and my character is being built upon. Brick by brick, each person in the house is fortifying my person and I will be forever grateful for everything that each one of them is teaching me.
–Jean Martinez is serving at Dispute Settlement Center where he trains youth in conflict resolution and mediates in the juvenile court system. He loves to sing and is a master friendship bracelet maker.
Character is one of the 5 values we focus on during the service year. Here is the JSC definition:
Character: I am truly accountable to those served and approach opportunities for change with awareness of community assets. I meet commitments on time and act responsibly with public and personal trust. I am accountable for my words and actions.