Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Importance of Community

Community. It's what gives many people worth, makes them feel like they are a part of something and can contribute to that something. Sometimes people take it for granted, especially when their friendships seem so great and everlasting.

It is only when you lose that sense of community that you begin to appreciate just how important it is; that very feeling that a sense of community takes up is an empty place inside of you and when you are in places filled with groups of people that emptiness throbs inside of you like the beat of a drum. You feel like a freak, a loser, worthless. Society calls these people outcasts, loners, rejects. Rarely are these people treated with sympathy or compassion but instead with scorn, indifference or disgust.

Right now I do feel like I have that sense of community or at least somewhat. It wasn't that lack of community that made me yearn for it so badly like it usually is. This time it was by being at a club that I thought of this.

Maybe it's such a little thing to set off this kind of thinking. Kind of silly, if anything, and maybe a little pathetic. I can't say it's the first time that I've been surrounded by people who are like me (that was the sleepaway camp I went to the past summer) but still... It's not something that happens to me often and when it does I savor every moment of it.

I mean, let's face it, not many teenagers like intelligent things. Most of them don't read often and they don't engage in debate. It's pretty rare to find someone who can think for herself much less multiple people. Basically that means it's hard for me to find people to relate to; it's hard for me to be able to sift through the masses to find those very people.

Community is something that has always mattered to me. I'm a teenager so I'm sure that I'm not alone in this desire. As a human being, you can't help but be sucked into the want because human beings are social creatures. Going without interaction for a long period of time makes a person insane. Speaking from personal experience, living life without a sense of community (but with some interactions) can make you a little insane too. That's the first reason it's important I suppose.

One reason that community is important because it gives you a purpose. You are there to make people feel good. In a good community, you should be an integral part of the group that other group members couldn't go without (the only reason I say "good" is because that with certain groups of friends the people have barely any emotional connections towards each other especially in cliques). Community gives you a sense of belonging to something, something a little bigger than yourself sometimes.

Another thing is that community gives you an opportunity to bounce your ideas off of others and to talk about things you're really passionate about to someone else who understands it/ has similar opinions on it (especially if it's something no one else gives a shit about).

Community also gives you something to look forward to.  Even if the day sucks and you hate school, you can always look forward to seeing your friends at the beginning/end of the school day, in lunch and/or in certain classes.

Plus, community gives you a sense of belonging. You don't feel like such a freak when you have a bunch of other people who think and feel the same way that you do. You don't feel like an outsider. Instead, you feel accepted and welcomed.

More than anything else, a sense of community makes a person feel good. Just the knowledge that someone cares about you and is looking out for your best interest is enough to get through the day and through life.

Now, I know what you're thinking... You're probably thinking how creepy it is that I got that much out of a club. I didn't. This post was partly inspired by being in the club but mostly inspired by past experience. Being in the club surrounded by like-minded people just got me thinking about everything and set the ball in motion.

Bottom line is that having a community and feeling like you belong is super important to a person's well-being. Community influences you in so many ways and not being a part of one does too. I hope it's a joy that everyone experiences, regardless of who you are and what you like.

Oh and just a nice little side note- If you see someone without one, try to invite them in. Even if things don't work out, it will still matter to them a lot.

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