I Call it Community
Human beings are social creatures. We gather for kinship, camaraderie, support and comfort. In these groups, we benefit from cooperation, collaboration, and meaningful connection. We experience our membership in these groups as a feeling of belonging that somehow surpasses the simple feeling of membership. We call it tribe, team, clan, fraternity, or family. Let’s give it a word that encompasses all these feelings and benefits–and more.
Let’s call it Community.
The world today needs community. You and I reach for it, and gravitate towards it before we even have the words to describe the feeling we seek. Community, that place of authentic, supportive, welcoming, and accepting connection, is our natural state.
Why are the numbers of people suffering from anxiety, addiction, and depression skyrocketing? Could it be because so many people feel so alone? I believe it is because we suffer from a lack of community.
Do you have a safe, nurturing, loving, non-judging group of people who accept everyone else no matter how they differ from one another, who in fact, celebrate the diversity of the members of the group? Is it a place where you can authentically answer the question, “How are you?” without resorting to the standard, “Fine, thank you.” Is it a place where conflicts are resolved with consensus and not buried with resentment? It should be a group that notices the different gifts of its members and has come to know who can provide leadership in any given situation. It should be inclusive, not exclusive, tempting though it is to close the gates and lock the “others” out. It must be a group that recognizes that we are all in this together and that “we” is everyone who wants to be a part of the group. “We” is everyone.
Do you have a special group of people who make you feel welcome, like the patrons of the TV sitcom, Cheers, “always glad you came“? If you have a group like this, weigh in with your thoughts in the comments below. If you don’t but wish that you did, share that too.
And don’t despair. You can build community. It’s not only simple, but it’s also so much fun! I wrote a book about it to show you how.
Photo Credit: Exchanges Photos