In my experience, belonging to a community is different to having a group of friends. When I have been a part of a group of friends I have always felt that I was closer to a specific person within the group than others, the politics amongst the people within the friendship circle is far too volatile and dramatic for my comfort. This is why I usually stick to one or two friends at a time; however my experience in belonging to a community of people has been different.
The biggest different I have felt is there is almost always a commonality amongst a community of people; whether it be the fact that they all go to the same church, or they all have an interest in a specific thing or hobby. This commonality is what creates the sense of comfortable acceptance and belonging within a community of people; it helps to provide a cohesive feel that is so rare in life. Being a part of a group of people with similar interests or circumstances is very comforting to me and brings about a wholesome feeling in my social life.
Compartmentalize our lives:
I often tend to view my life in little separate boxes, one box for my social life, one box for my spiritual life and one box for my business life. This common thread that forms the undercurrent of a community has a way of unboxing all of the contents, spreading them out and mixing them together. Belonging to a community has given me the liberating feeling of chatting about a new blog post idea I have in the pipe line to my sex life. Being able to be as open as I wish about every aspect of my life with the same group of people has really helped me to gain new perspective as to how one area of my life can possible help me to fix another area.
Weave your Web:
As my father always tells me “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. That saying has never rung more true than where I am now. The world is a very big one, but with so many people on it, it becomes very manageable. By belonging to a community of like-minded people you build your web of people you know. Because that lady in the corner of the room could know a friend of a friend who could help you land that dream career you’re striving for. Networking myself and expanding my connections has often gotten me out of a lot of sticky situations and catapulted me into very favourable ones.
Don’t get me wrong, belonging to a community requires just as much work, if not more, as a friendship does. But all I have ever felt from the people in my community has been inclusivity and support.
Do you belong to a community? What are your thoughts on the importance of community?