Date: 7th October 2021
“Like a space traveller needs space to travel, connection needs loneliness to exist”
A description of community from the dictionary is this “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.”
Obviously when we live in the same place our community is the physical location determined by a boundary. So proximity is the glue for physical communities. ‘Characteristics in common’ is the other connector on what forms a comm-unity and in the world today we are no longer restricted by just our physical location. Technology has spread the web to enabled us to globally explore more of what we have in common.
Like everything the old is making way for the new. The old ways of community (what we know) is being disrupted making way for the new (unknown). So what does this mean? It means things feel more uncomfortable because we are undergoing change. We feel more isolated, alone, lonely than before and these basic needs make us respond to our environment differently. When your environment shifts it is you who has to respond. We are all products of the environment in which we live.
Community needs you – Connection is you. So whenever a new community is created it requires connection from you. It takes time, attention, energy and resource from your ‘community evolvement’ of the past. Communities die all the time and sometimes that is a really good thing. There is only so much of you and I to go around.
In recent times we have become experts at community building and community hopping. Jumping from one thing to the next trying to find something that feels right. In our physical communities we see people buying houses not with the intent to live in them for a long time, but to make a financial gain. We stay for one or two years and then move on. Or people who rent and then are forced to leave by a price or circumstance change. Is there any point in really getting to know your neighbours if they just keep moving?
In the technology space we experience the same but in hyper speed. Creating community ourselves, or moving through different platforms and groups continuously. We stay for a while before becoming bored and then moving on. Most businesses will tell you they are building a community both online and off. We find ourselves in an interesting space of being everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Wanting connection and community, but fearful of commitment. FOMO at its best. Are we emotionally lost in our own backyards?
From a community and connection perspective a major source of the emotional fuel comes from the feeling of isolation, lack of belonging and loneliness. This is an internal feeling trying to find an external home. The search is then on to find the community with the environment to help you heal this. It is an inside job, you hold the keys that actually unlocks your community. You don’t have to look far as this common theme is the same in all of us. You don’t even have to look as it is in you and me. We all feel the same. This commonality in us all is required to form unity and bring us together. It is the glue that keeps our unique human culture alive. The glue is this feeling of loneliness. When we understand and see loneliness for what it actually is, it could just be life greatest gift. The catalysts for life itself.
“The more I look into connection the more I see it as the exploration of loneliness”
So consciously how do we live in this new lonely world? Is it about responsibility and acceptance? Is it to understand the simple act of being human is a lonely journey, that’s why humans live in communities in the first place? Does knowing this make us more responsible for the communities that we exist in? Do we actually really want to overcome loneliness or do we want to explore the space together? Is this what the human experience is all about?
So imagine the day when you no longer feel lonely. You are free from all the responsibility that comes with living in communities. Does this make you a loner or lonelier? Take a bit of time on your own to really understand how lonely that must feel?
Posted in: My Thoughts
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…