Written by Jay Yarbrough
Humans by nature are social beings - it's a universal law that no one can escape. We need to be around other people for us to feel happy, secure and safe. Hanging out with friends helps, but that isn't quite enough. For us to truly thrive, we need to be active in our local community.
This article is for all people and explains why community is important, how it affects you and those around you and how you can become more active in your local community.
Why do we need community?
Everyone benefits from a strong community.
Being active within our society helps individuals feel less lonely, have a more vital and interesting life, find mates, stay healthy and feel happier. We feel connected, important, significant, appreciated and safe. Being active within our society brings us inspiration, helps us succeed in business and helps us find our way in life. Participating in our local community helps us fulfill our need of purpose.
Communities thrive when people are better connected. Local economies expand, businesses succeed, education grows, support systems become more efficient, etc.
When things become difficult, it's those who have a strong community support system that are best off. Imagine if a natural disaster occurred ~ wouldn't it be better to turn to people you knew you could trust for help? Imagine if you became ill.., couldn't a community of people who cared about you make you feel better? Of course they could!
How do people get disconnected from their community?
With online social media, entertainment, virtual worlds, email and chat, it's easy to become engrossed in a computer. It's a modern day reality that people turn to their computers for connection to others. This can be a great thing but it can also go too far and we can become detached from our local, physical world society. Computers are usually at their best when used as a tool to accomplish tasks and not as a portal into an online existence that dominates our life. Online communities have become very real, significant and help millions feel more connected, but they must not take the place of our physical life community.
It's also common for people to find jobs online and to move to different locations around the world. This uproots us and detaches us from the local society we grew up in, forces us to make new friends and establish ourselves in a new community.
How can I get involved in my local community?
Getting active in our community does require effort but it's well worth it. Remember that energy you put into it will certainly come back to you.
- Meet your neighbors
- Be kind to people around you
- Say hello to those in your community and people at work
- Forget about yourself for a while and take the time to get to know others
- Greet new members of your community
- Become active in community events
- Join local groups or clubs
- Buy from local businesses
- Get to know people from different backgrounds or ethnicity's
- Become active in local school systems
- Organize local gatherings or parties (block parties)
- Spend more time outside and away from television or computers
Understanding the importance of community and becoming more active within yours will greatly increase your quality of life. After all, no one wants to live a lonely and detached life. Now get out there and smile!
To become more involved in Kearney, contact the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce.