Why A Sense of Community Is More Important Than Ever
How Community Can Tackle Self-Isolation
For the past few months I’ve been researching the link between community and creative culture — how does community affect creativity and how does creativity affect community? In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, this research feels more important than ever. In this time of social isolation, fear and a great deal of uncertainty, a sense of community is becoming increasingly more important.
Humans are social creatures by nature, and whilst we may welcome solitude at times, this period of isolation will undoubtedly prove difficult for a large number of people. It’s at times like these that a sense of belonging and unity from a thriving community can help to connect those suffering at this time.
A community is often described as a group of likeminded people with similar interests, ideas or ideologies. Coming together in a united front with a common cause, whatever that might be, helps to embed a sense of purpose and connection within us. Whether we’re deepening our understanding of other’s lives, experiences and cultures or we’re searching for and providing opportunities to those in need, our involvement in a community can help to remove the barriers of loneliness and create a space for dialogue that can help people to digest, analyse and understand the way they are feeling, and that they are not as alone in their ideas as they might think.
Vibrant communities and the open dialogues they can create help to set the path for new, innovative solutions and, in doing so, a profound sense of togetherness and purpose can be found. It is creative thinking like this, that communities can so effortlessly inspire, that we need at this time - to solve the issues that have arisen, as well as the issues that are imminent and the ones that we haven’t even begun to consider yet. Undoubtedly, finding these solutions will be easier when we work together.
“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller
In a time of uncertainty, the emphasis on some level of consistency - whether that be in your routine, or in the people that are supporting you - is never stronger. A sense of community can help to instil consistency in your life, and that doesn’t have to disperse post-pandemic. Use this time to build meaningful relationships and support networks that can add certainty throughout your life.
Isolation and the loneliness that often stems from it are issues that have the power to compromise both our physical and mental health but, in recent weeks, I’ve seen the expansion of community aim to tackle these issues in brilliant ways. I’ve seen new communities born out of uncertainty, I’ve seen existing communities thrive as their purpose becomes all the more important, and I’ve been privy to the power of these communities and their work. I’ve seen incredible human connections - from musicians offering online concerts, to movie night streaming parties with friends. The idea of altruism has never been so rife, and the way that communities are adopting this spirit and protecting their own is something that I hope will long remain in better times. Not only are these communities so effective in creating a support network, but they are important in creating a sense of hope.
I urge you to reach out to those that might be in need, to take care of yourself and those around you, and to remain hopeful at this time.
"The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members." – Coretta Scott King