How to Live in Community
During many conversations about the COVID-19 crisis recently, I’ve recognized something. As a result of the spread of COVID-19, we are becoming – globally – a crisis community.
What is a “crisis community”? Groups evolve into community in one of three ways.
- Organic Communities. This is a group of people who have been together for so long that they have passed naturally through the phases of the community building process. Organic communities include, for instance, family or friends who gather every summer by the lake.
- Conscious Communities. This is the result of deliberately building community. It’s the kind of community evolution I facilitate.
- Crisis Communities. In 2019, we witnessed a crisis community when the Cathedral of Notre Dame burned. We watched on our screens as strangers linked arms, sang, prayed and cried together. Today, people all over the globe are experiencing a crisis community as we deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
In a crisis community people share this state of mind; “we are all in this together” because crisis naturally breeds solidarity and empathy.
I’ve heard so many stories in the past two weeks about how creative people are in maintaining connection while social distancing. In an Ontario neighbourhood, the residents had a Block Party where everyone took a glass of wine to the end of their driveways and partied for two hours. In a nearby town, people come out to their porches at lunchtime to sing and drum together.
A crisis community poignantly demonstrates the fact that human beings are wired for community.
Have you noticed that people are abandoning their back decks in favour of their front porches? They want to be where they can see and connect with their neighbours. The porches are coming alive again!
Here’s the sad thing about a crisis community; often when the crisis abates, the community dissipates. Let’s not let that happen.
Let’s not forget how we reached out to one another during the COVID-19 crisis. Let’s stay connected so that one day the story we tell our grandchildren will end like this:
“That was when we remembered how to live in community.”