It has been a common misunderstanding that it requires sacrifice to work within a group, that one needs to give up something in order to do something for the community.

Another common misunderstanding is that the main way for groups of deciding anything would be either that they vote and we pick the majority vote as the decision, or that somebody becomes the leader and chooses for the group.

Both of these ideas have little to do with how a true group works.

A true group is not just a bunch of people who try to act like they are only one person. That would be quite a waste of manpower. One person is quite adequate for acting as one person. Actually, making more people act like they are only one person would tend to give a result LESS than what a single person would do, as they would tend to become irresponsible and confused about what they are actually doing.

Thus you find countries in the old civilization that are run as if by a mildly retarded, stubborn, mean-spirited person who just happens to be in control of an amount of force that could destroy the planet several times over. Luckily this hypothetical aggregate person is also half-paralyzed and in pain, so he generally doesn't get much of anything done.

In contrast, a true group aims for synergy amongst its members. That means that the result would be greater than the sum of the activities by each member.

Synergy requires some independence of action. Making everybody do the same thing produces no synergy at all.

The best working group is the one where each member is doing exactly what he or she is inspired to do, AND cooperation and synergies develop amongst them that makes the whole group accomplish MORE than just the rum of their efforts.

If somebody asks you to give up your own power of choice in order to "serve the community" realize that that rarely is the real purpose. More likely you would be serving the interests of those who wish to control that particular group of people. Those who ask you would be of the belief that THEIR agenda would be what everybody needs.

The true synergetic effects of a group are what emerges between them. It is something more than the sum of the parts, so it can't be figured out in advance by taking a poll and averaging what each of the members think they are doing. The true direction of the group will be somewhat of a surprise, something bigger than any individual who is participating.

A group works best if it has a high degree of consensus. However, consensus doesn't mean that they all have the same perspective and agree on the same plan. It certainly doesn't mean following what the majority says. Rather, consensus is when we know where we have each other, and we are working together on common projects. If I vacuum the carpet and you polish the windows, then we have some kind of consensus on cleaning the house. If we were trying to vote on what the right thing to do would be, we probably wouldn't get as much done as if we just go and do it.

Groups consist of individuals. Individuals have different personalities, different perspectives, different abilities, different preferences. They naturally make different choices.

You don't make a better group by hiding away the individuals and pretending that we are just WE, "the group". Then you would just be impersonalizing and confusing things, making it less clear who actually does what.

In the best working groups you will know exactly who does what, whether you are a member or a customer of some kind to the group. You will know that Sally is in charge of the paper supplies, and Joe is the guy who keeps the coffee machine working, and it was Jane who designed the new logo. Specific things get done by specific people. Things don't happen in general, they happen specifically.

A community is not just a big generality that one is supposed to submit to. A community consists of specific individuals doing a variety of specific actions that all tie together into a bigger whole.