Have We Lost the Sense of Community in Western Society?

“Imaginations shared create collaboration, and collaboration creates community, and community inspires social change” Terry Tempest Williams

The Power of Community

Now, more than ever before, is there a need for us to be aware of the power of community and to take action in building it.

Turn on the news any day of the week or read the daily paper and the word “divisiveness” springs to mind. On one hand we talk of equality and a global village, yet on the other the complete opposite. Instead of seeing community, collaboration and a shared interest in the wellbeing of humanity, we see an increasing trend of people looking out only for themselves.

What does this mean?

Well, it goes against our nature as a naturally social, interactive race. If we take a look at a couple of the traditional communities that exist today such as the Kaluli tribe of New Guinea and the Amish, we see that issues such as depression and anxiety are virtually unknown. Yet in western society depression is the number one psychological disorder, and is set to be the second most disabling condition in the world by 2020.

We are meant to collaborate

We are meant to support each other, and we are meant to live as part of a community. It’s in our DNA; we have just become a little lost.

Community Lessons from the Yequana

There is a book called The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff that was written in 1975. Liedloff followed and did a study on the Yequana, an indigenous people living in the South American jungle. Her study was based on their parenting system. Having watched the tribe for some time she became aware of how different the children were to children in western society. They were calmer, happier and more grounded. They showed none of the emotional reactions and issues western children displayed such as anxiety, throwing tantrums, shyness and so on.  She was so impressed by their mental, physical and emotional vitality.

The key difference between the Yequana children and western children lay in the fact that they never experienced separation. They were always included in community life and kept in close physical contact with their parents or carer. Right from day one they had a community to support, care for and inspire them to be the best they could be.

Now I know the above was a study on children, but it shows clearly the power that unity and true community can have. It literally changes people on a mental, physical and emotional level. It is how we are wired to thrive. When we feel supported, nurtured and believed in we are much more likely to believe in ourselves and consequently be more productive, creative and positive than when we are not.

What about the Western World? 

Imagine if we could have more of that community in the western world? Imagine how many people would go out there and follow their dreams if they knew they had the support, strength and inspiration of a strong community behind them? We would see some powerful stuff start to happen!

What about You?

I leave you with the question…are you part of a community that truly serves you and that you feel inspired to share your gifts and energy with? Are you supported by people on the same page as you? If the answer is no, what could you do today to change this? Tells us more in the comments.

P.s. Did you know that Peri10k is a powerful community of Changemakers and Thought Leaders from all over the World sharing valuable content on Periscope daily? A global family that supports, collaborates and inspires others to fulfil their dreams.

And oh yes.. we do accept applications for Speaker members and Supporter members on peri10k.com/join

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  • Lisa October 19, 2015   Reply →

    This is such a great blog post! I love how Belinda notes specific research and ties it into her article. Great job!

  • Donna Merrill October 20, 2015   Reply →

    Hi Belinda,

    What a great way to illustrate how important a community of people is so needed, especially in the Western World.

    When I first came online, I read the book “Tribes” By Seth Godin. It clicked…we cannot go at it alone, but need community support, especially if we are doing an online business.

    As part of Peri10K, I love the community and support I receive from others. It is a great group to be part of because of the support and especially meeting other people.

    Great post!


    • Belinda Bennetts October 20, 2015   Reply →

      Hi Donna, and thank you. We definitely need community support, and it is so inspiring to grow and share together

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