Humans are social beings. When we’re born, we grow up within community. As the African proverb says, it takes a whole village to raise us. Even when we’re young and not fully conscious of who the members of our community are, it is our interaction with others that supports our development and sustains our wellbeing. As we move through life, to belong to one or multiple communities is to experience a bond of richness that ‘going it alone’ could never measure up to.
Belonging is fundamental to our sense of happiness. Social connectedness – sharing experiences and feeling a kinship with your tribe, your ‘people’, with family, friends, networks, collectives, and those whom you enjoy spending time – is the tapestry of a life well-woven together. Being connected, and finding your place in community, makes life itself more meaningful.
In exploring Community – the third of the 7 Elements of Wellbeing – we will look at how you can create your best life through the choices you make in regards to the community you have fostered and contribute to, and the social connections that you nurture through regular interaction and engaged presence. This experience of positive exchange or shared connection could apply to face-to-face relationships or virtual networks and groups.
In this unit, you will identify how you feel about your current connections within community, and what belonging means to you. You will also explore how you can enhance your social exchanges through the steps of reflection, mapping, and visualising the kind of experiences you want for yourself, to enjoy better wellbeing. A strong community built around common passions and greater harmony, nourishes your soul and ripples out to affect the world around you.
Remember that community is much more than shared activities and exchanges. On a deeper level, social connectedness helps us love others more and understand ourselves better. It may also promote empathy and healing. Community offers the support you need to supplement all the other Elements of Wellbeing — Vocation. Lifestyle. Family. Love. Wellness. Abundance — in your journey to greater self-awareness and living a better life.