In prehistoric times when our ancestors were posting pictures of food on cave walls, they were also forming small communities that depended upon teamwork in order to make it through their daily grind. One man alone couldn’t hunt a mastodon. It took a united group to tackle that beast. Ok…not really tackle, but you have the image necessary for the importance of unity. A united community was essential for the success of the tribe and in turn, for each individual.
It appears that the only thing that has changed nowadays is that we aren’t hunting mammoth-sized beasts with stones and sticks in order to eat. We have a more clock-in/clock-out approach to putting food in our bellies. As for our walls that display images of food, they have turned digital. Yes, we are a bit more cultured in these current times with better technology which can lead to more secluded lives, but as we enjoy these advances let’s not lose sight of the importance of the unity in community.
Merriam-Webster provides the English speaker with a few different definitions for a community. All pertaining to having something in common. With this expansive environment, we are susceptible to being members of many different communities simultaneously. Personally, I’m a member of a family community, teaching community, American-living-abroad community, English speaking community, longboarding community, etc.
What communities are you a part of? How can an individual manifest unity within these groups?
The answer to question two is simple:
Give like you have nothing to lose. Give to everyone in your community as if whatever you were to give them, you would get in return but in greater quantity. If that gift is a few hours of your time one afternoon, after a rigorous day of hunting mastodons, then give it and be the one who brings the beer. Sharing this time at the end of the day with someone else builds camaraderie.
Your tribe is there to celebrate the good, fight off the bad, and stick through the ugly. When the flood comes to wash away the house along with photos of Grandma at eight years old playing in the garden, your tribe will be there to help pick up the pieces. That afternoon you gave to someone, now has a chance to be returned as they assist you to get back up, wipe off the dirt, and get back on the saddle.
Another option to unite within a community is to share.
Share ideas, share space or share a book with someone. When the person reads that book, y’all are sharing knowledge; arguably one of the most powerful tools in existence. How fortunate will your fellowship be after sharing knowledge? Go find out.
I can tell you, personally, after passing around a book, “The Sun Also Rises”, with some folks from foreign places, we became more integrated. Living in the same country as the story, going to the same bars as the writer, reinforced our relationships with one another; strengthening the unity of our tribe. I was fortunate to have them in my fellowship after nearly witnessing the death of one of my parents. Now we are worlds apart, but we still maintain a united group.
To wrap this up, I’ll depart by encouraging you to increase participation in any one of the many communities that you may play a role in. Participate with a goal of strengthening the relationships between you and other members. It’s your community; being involved starts with you.