Do You Have Community?

Date: 1st July 2021

“We are no longer born into a community, in today’s world we have to continually create it”

A community developer, up until recently, would have been a role where there was no role.  You were born into a community (ie a tribe) in which you lived, supported and then died.  Very simply, in the past community was what kept you alive, gave you purpose and what you would live and die for.  No one would ask ‘do you have community?’ in your life as community was life.

Now we hear terms like community development officer or builder or organisation etc….  It seems that community has moved from naturally occurring to now consistently requiring our support and management.  It almost feels like we need to create it everywhere and with everyone.  At home, work, interest groups, sports and even in our local community.  Creating community in a community – Strange!!  Why? 

Community in our lives now has added complexity.  Today’s communities pull at us from many directions – we have an abundance of choice.  This lolly scramble approach means we don’t have the same solid (or limited) community experience that we have had in the past as our attention has been scattered.  There is a collective void in all of us that is yearning for that solid community feeling that existed in the past.

Can you imagine what it was like when you used to live in a community, waking up every morning and seeing everyone in your community every day?  Apparently we lived like this for tens of thousands of years – small bands of people living communally, collaborating and surviving together.  For many now, we can’t survive a few days at Christmas with the extended family.  Why have we become so isolated, intolerable and lonely?  I hear people frequently saying “I am turning more introverted every day”.  Is it because of:

  • Population growth with there being too many of us – is it too hard to choose who’s in and who’s out of our community? 
  • The physical distance we have travelled from where and who we grew up with.  
  • Online going too far, blurring many physical communities into one or hundreds of online communities in the blink of an eye. 

Maybe community is not even required now as money can buy you anything you want, if you have enough of it?  Whatever it is, we are in the middle of a major shift in terms of what community means to us all.  So do we evolve moving forward, have we already, or is everything just fine?

Some may say as a species we have more community than past generations.  Look what we have created.  Huge commercial giants just sitting there helping us every second of the day to develop community in this new world.  Personally we have Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter etc.  Professionally LinkedIn, Zoom, plus many more.  We have billion $ after billion $ industries that just support us with community every day.  Let’s name a few Social media, Mobile, Live Chat, Gaming…  Are these communication tools developed to bring us closer together in this new world?  Or are they just businesses trying to cash in on that lack of community feeling mentioned above.  Is there a higher purpose to all of this?  Which ones support community in your life?

Obviously community does not support us the same way it has in the past.  For most of our history we just had one community, our tribe.  You existed in a community by birth.  Now I would argue, you exist to create community.  Community is now created from you not for you.

The need for MORE is the driving addiction behind everything.  More growth, more people, more connection, more opportunity, MORE COMMUNITY.  I wonder if this need would subside if the core aspect of community was stronger in our world.  If we were happy and secure with the community we have in our lives, would we need to be smothered by technology?  What we have at our finger tips in today’s world is unbelievable.  What is the future of community for you in our world?

Today’s community is like being a kid in a candy store.  Are you searching for a sugar hit or something more sustainable for your life? Community is about choice.  How we make our choices are critical to our life experience moving forward. The choice really is yours whether or not you have community.  So do you have community?

Posted in: My Thoughts

Jamie Roy Speaking

Jamie Roy

Connection has always been the core principle in my life. It has taken many years and numerous life experiences to allow this to rise to the surface.  It has been an inside out project, supported by hundreds of people…

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