Community Living | #MyFridayStory No. 97

Community Living | #MyFridayStory No. 97

Living together as a community is something us humans have been doing since the dawn of time.

One of the reasons anthropologists and other scientists believe humans lived in groups, is because there is safety in numbers. There are other benefits of course, but this was the primary reason for forming social units. If you look at different communities today, you will notice the reason still holds true. Communities create a sense of kinship and a bond that extends beyond the norm, to where they care and have empathy for other members of the community, as though they are family.

There are many forms of communities around us. A family is a community. A school is a community. Your workplace has a community. Every religion has a community. People living in an apartment complex, live in a community. People who support the same football team, are a community. Facebook and LinkedIn both have communities. The citizens of South Africa, are a community. So, a community could be people sharing a certain geographical space, or sharing similar likes, values and practices. These areas of commonality draw us together and give us a sense of identity with the other members.

Although we first formed communities to ward off potential attacks from predators and other enemies, living together as a community today is beyond the need for safety. Communities exist to support and assist one another in more ways than protection in the face of danger. Having a sense of community gives the person a feeling of belonging, of having influence over the members and being open to being influenced. It lets the person feel worthy and because they matter to others, there is a shared emotional connection. In one study, it was found that young adults who feel a sense of belonging, mostly within smaller communities, develop fewer mental and depressive disorders than subjects who felt fewer feelings of love and belonging.

For community living to be effective, it requires that trust, reciprocity, compassion and tolerance be the norms for all its members. We are living in a time where we are being driven apart from each other, not drawn together. The gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have-nots’ is widening, all around the world. South Africa has one of the most unequal income distributions in the world.

Communities are made up of diverse people that share a common goal.

Communities exist to assist one another. Their aim is to create an environment that is conducive to raising healthy children, where adults feel safe to go on a night-time run, where the elderly are cherished, and the sick are properly cared for. Communities don’t turn a blind eye to those less fortunate than themselves. They show compassion, empathy and love for everyone in the community. Communities don’t discriminate, they are inclusive. Everyone is welcome and everyone is a worthy part of the community. No one is more important than the other. There is no room for inflated egos.

A community functions best when all the members are in harmony and pursuing a common goal. Communities support each other and help each other to grow. If one is doing better than the other, they offer a helping hand to the one struggling. That’s what makes the whole community stronger. As everyone starts looking to improve, so the tribe improves.

We need to start living as a community again. With ourselves. With our neighbours. With our fellow citizens of this country. The rich and the poor, the young and old, blacks and whites, men and women. We especially need to reach out to the marginalised to let them know they are worthy members of our community.

How can you help someone in your community today?

 Have an awesome weekend! 😄

* Please feel free to drop me a mail frans@leap1st.com I’d like that, and if you would like to receive #MyFridayStory each week, please join here

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