Strength in numbers.
This is a phrase one commonly hears when they are seeking a sense of community. Whether it is joining causes, fighting a stigma or collaborating for meaningful projects, being part of something bigger than yourself is essential to your growth. After all, “love and belonging” is the third most important thing in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Looking back at history, you will see that solidarity and revolution have changed the world. In 1920, women voted in the United States elections for the first time, after their tireless fight led by the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA). Forty-nine years after, the world saw how the Stonewall Riots fought for the lives of the LGBT Community in New York City. In 1986, the Philippines ousted a dictator and put an end to Martial Law through a peaceful rally.
A sense of community does not always mean revolution. It could also mean finding solace in the presence of people who are just like you. For example, artists can bond together and form a group. Through this community, they can stay connected and support each other’s art by organising events or collaborating.
How can you build a sense of community?
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “community” as “a unified body of individuals” and “a social state or condition”. Beyond the dictionary, people struggle to find the real meaning of the word. However, building a sense of community is entirely possible.
Break out of your shell
It’s easy to stay in your circle, but sometimes, you have to go out into the world to meet new people. The thought of socialising may be intimidating because you don’t know what kind of personalities other people will have, and if they’ll like you or not. But once you get over these worries, you’ll discover a whole new realm of possibilities. These people may have amazing ideas that your skills and abilities can help bring to fruition. Meeting new people can open a lot of opportunities, as well as your perspectives.
Tap into your common interests
Once you’ve broken out of your shell, it’s time to create a bond with the people in the community. You may have a lot of differences with the people around you, but there is a reason you are in the same group as them. For example, if you’re at the opening of a bookstore near Peppercorn Hill, it’s possible that everyone else in the event loves to read books as much as you do. By engaging in conversations about your favourite books or even talking about literary criticism, you can find a connection with these people.
Make everyone feel like they belong
A lot of communities deal with discrimination and violence. Because of this, members of this community find safety among their groups. For them, communities are their safe spaces where they can freely interact and be themselves. As a result, these groups foster a kind of family that fills that need to belong. As a member of the community, it is also your responsibility to be kind and welcoming to everyone by offering your love and support for each member.
It might not be about the definition of the word “community”. For some, it’s how their community makes them feel.