Community. Friday February 16, 2018
Our ancestors knew it, they knew that the community was there to support each other and look after their own. Now how many of us are lacking that community feeling? We are facing the biggest crisis in loneliness and mental health that we have ever seen.
People who go to work, converse all day with unknown faces via a small handheld piece of artificial intelligence. Then come home, to a screen, individually tailoring what they should watch on TV, food deliveries come to the door. They sleep, wake and go all around again, hardly really talking to another person. Or no work, stuck in the four walls with a screen or nothing for company.
How important community still is to us. To Everyone. So many of us blog about our communities that we invest in, our lifelines. It might be an online group, it might be a coffee morning, colleagues, or the people you meet at the same bus stop every day at the same time and one day you all got chatting, or people walking their dogs along the same route.
I grew up in a village, everyone had their place and value there. The village shop, church and pub, the village fair, youth club, festival celebrations, constantly bringing us together. Within our walls we ate our meals together at the table, picking over the days events. We watched TV together, shouting out at The Generation Game, repeating our favourite lines from The Two Ronnies. Together.
Now we need to seek these moments out, we need reminding that we NEED community to survive, and if we don't have the strength to do this? Then we are so easily susceptible to loneliness and mental illness. Have we come to a community time in crisis?
I have some valuable little communities outside of my own household that keep me going, support me, keep me afloat. They are Moodscope, my yoga class, my best friends who I met when my eldest was a baby, school Mums, my off road running group. When I'm well they're there and when I'm not well, they'll still be there. I also go on the Mental Health Mates walks in Leeds and find a little hub of like minded people who understand. I'll be OK whilst I've got these, I just wish the TV was better!
Which communities do you feel glad to be a part of, where can we gently seek these out if we're not feeling sociable?
A Moodscope member.
Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.