Community brings people with something in common together. Participation enriches members’ lives. Together, they can experience a shared sense of trust, connection, and caring for one another.
The primary purpose of any community is to fulfill the need for social connectedness. Since humans are wired to connect, they long for a support network.
Novelist Herman Melville (1819-1891): “We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.”
Communities come in different forms and sizes, but they are always about people connecting. These groups can offer extra meaning and purpose to everyday life. Moreover, they help to alleviate stress, build new thoughts, ideas, and communication skills, and empower decision-making.
A group can be intimate, such as family, or impersonal, like a big company. These communities include:
- Faith-based organizations
- Activism groups
- Hobby and gaming-focused clubs
- Sports clubs
- Volunteer groups
- Alumni networks
- Coworking spaces
- Professional development groups
- Employee resource groups
- Parent-Teacher groups
Author and Disability Rights Activist Helen Keller (1880- 1968): “Alone we can do so little; together, we can do so much.”
Vital Importance of Community
A person’s need for human interaction during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic led create unique community-building substitutions. Many included socializing using Zoom.
People worked, partied, celebrated holidays, dated, attended faith-based services, and more from the safety and comfort of their homes. As a result, During 2020 and 2021, the company experienced a mind-boggling increase in popularity, with 300 million meeting participants daily.
Many communities are based on shared interests such as TV programs, sports, or hobbies. Examples include social media: Facebook, Reddit, TikTok, and Instagram.
In addition, Amazon and Facebook’s Watch Party feature allows people to chat throughout the movie. Watch parties enable people to enjoy a film with others without leaving the comfort of their homes.
Other communities are Identity-based, which creates vital and meaningful opportunities. They are organized based on race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, ability, ethnicity, and other demographics. These groups provide inclusion, focus on areas of improvement, and increase self-value.
Moreover, a 2018 study showed the importance of social relationships for human well-being. Respondents who pursued community involvement over personal goals discovered greater life satisfaction.
Human Interaction and Mental Well-Being
Community is about spending time with others who hold similar goals. Having people to talk to and depend on and making new connections can help a person’s mental well-being.
Additionally, social support effectively reduces feeling alone, anxiety, depression, and more. Connection and community can help a person to be valued and essential.
Overall, the benefits of human interaction improve mental well-being. It helps a person’s body and brain understand their surroundings. The exchange of thoughts and ideas puts events in context and aids problem-solving.
Community Vital for Addressing Societal Disparities
Groups centered around fighting against societal disparities help both the giver and recipient. First, they create awareness of the problem. Second, these groups fight against racism, poverty, food insecurity, homelessness, education, elder abuse, and other quality-of-life issues.
Additionally, many businesses use profits to benefit communities. According to the Small Business Association (SBA), their money is donated locally to charities, youth organizations, first responders, religious organizations, and service groups.
At the same time, larger companies’ donations tend to have a national or global reach. Many businesses, like Simpleaf, are committed to helping fight against social and environmental problems. To do this, they partner with like-minded organizations.
Simpleaf donates 1% of all its sales to charity. In addition to monetary support, the company donates products to enhance people’s lives. Simpleaf contributes to:
- Los Angeles, California-based Baby2Baby distributes diapers, formula, cribs, food, and clothing to children in the United States.
- Hope Supply Co. strives to meet the critical needs of homeless and at-risk kids. The Hope Foundation for the Homeless serves the Dallas-Fort Worth communities in Texas.
- The Gut It Out Foundation supports the needs of the IBD community. They offer inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patient and caregiver support groups, education, research, and pediatric care.
Another of Simpleaf’s partners is Toilet Twinning, a European-based charity that works with communities to bring water and sanitation in Africa and Asia. Toilet Twinning asks people to donate a “twin toilet” for each one in their homes or offices. Donations go toward helping 1.7 billion people who live without a safe place to go to the bathroom.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
(Originally published on Simpleaf)
TechCrunch: Amazon Prime Video’s Watch Party feature is now; by Ivan Mehta
MeetUp: A Local Feel in a Global Network: International Tips for Building Community; by Mary Garcia, reviewed by Eileen Gilbertson
TIS!: 10 Reasons Why Community Is Important; by Emmaline Soken-Huberty
Mio Dispatch: The History of Eric Yuan’s Zoom; by Dominic Kent
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Unsplash+
First Inset Image by Hillary Ungson Courtesy of Unsplash
Second Inset Image by Erika Giraud Courtesy of Unsplash
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