Sunday, November 9, 2014


That deep feeling of social connection with a group of others whom you relate to as Us or We. The intimate knowledge of the lives of others whose endeavors are important to you. That internal sense of concern for others' well-being, and elation for their achievements.

Why don't we have more of this?

Every time I ponder the ails of our modern culture, I come back - time and again - to a lack of community. While most of us may experience this with our families and/or our circle of friends, that tends to be the extent of it.

If we had true community; if we knew our neighbors, even though the inhabitants of the homes near ours are likely to change on occasion; if we related to the people we encounter throughout our days as the fellow human beings they are, with the same experiences of joy and sorrow; if we sought to support all the people around us, even with just an encouraging smile; if we considered the effects of our actions on those around us; we just might find that a great many of our frustrations become resolved.

Too often, too many steps get skipped, from aspects within our own body - our community of cells, so to speak - to aspects within our own selves and lives, to aspects within our family and closest social network, to aspects within our neighborhood, to aspects within our city, state, country, continent, hemisphere, and planet. We ought to bring our focus back to localization. That whole "be the change" is great advice, and reestablishing community is a great start.

It begins with self-sufficiency, and then, when you have a goal you cannot achieve alone, you start with the next closest person or persons; you don't reach out to strangers, hundreds of miles away. And when those around you need help, you give it, so that they will be there for you in your time of need, and so that your heart will grow in its capacity to experience joy. There is such enrichment to be gained through community, and so much benefit to everyone.

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