Man is a social being
From the earliest groups of hunter-gatherers to modern society, humans seek to connect with others. Before even this, God created Eve so that Adam wouldn’t have to be alone.
Some humans like to connect with large numbers of people, while others prefer to have a small circle of acquaintances and close friends. The number, size, and location of our tribes can vary, but the fact we are tribal by nature does not.
Aside from companionship and similar interests, there was (and still is) another fundamental reason to form groups: mutual protection. As the saying goes, there is safety in numbers. But there’s a long-held belief within the gun and prepper communities that they can go it alone during an emergency. In the short term, that might be true. But longer term survival will depend on being in a group of like-minded people focused on the goal.
Like-minded individuals form communities
People build communities with other like-minded folks through friendships and groups. They might work in the same company, live in the same cul-de-sac, or meet at their kids’ weekly sports league.
Hobbies are also a great way to meet people and make friends: Photography club members enjoy images. Bowling leagues members socialize with friends during an organized competition. Competition and casual shooting enthusiasts, hunters, and anglers go out to enjoy the outdoors with friends.
People join groups and build communities for a variety of reasons, most of which can be summed up as a way to achieve and support mutual interests, purposes, or goals. But there’s even a reason beyond these why building communities is a good thing: It makes us more resilient.
Communities can bring order and safety
If you’ve been driving long enough, you’ve likely experienced a traffic light that’s gone out. Most local driving laws have explicit instructions on the right-of-way for uncontrolled intersections, whereas some locations have less firm instructions and offer guidance on who gets right of way at an uncontrolled intersection.
But irrespective of what the laws spell out, drivers usually bring out a spontaneous spirit of cooperation by treating the intersection as a four-way stop. What started as anarchy in the way of broken traffic lights could have devolved into chaos, but didn’t.
As spontaneous and short lived as this cooperation might be, it happens regularly. Drivers are part of a community that comes together when needed and temporarily disbands when it’s not.
And if a spontaneously formed community can work together for a common goal and solve a problem, imagine the power of a community formed by a group of like-minded people planning and focusing on a goal?
Building a community doesn’t have to be difficult nor involve Robert’s Rules of Order. It doesn’t have to be large, and doesn’t have to revolve around a hobby. But building a community is important.
Why do we need community?
It’s comforting to know we’re not in the world alone and not fighting our battles by ourselves. Having a community means we have others to turn to for support and assistance, whether it’s advice about how to handle a problem at their kids’ school or something more literal, such as helping swap an engine.
Having a community makes it easier to manage larger tasks, rather than going it alone, whether the job is removing a 30’ tree or fighting government overreach. Having a community can help you move, offer a truck to get a new appliance home, help welcome a new addition to your home, and comfort you in a time of loss.
In a time of need, your community can be there for you, right now. You don’t have to wait for family to fly across the country, nor do you need to travel three states away in an emergency.
Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, And do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother far away. -- Proverbs 27:10
Get to know your neighbors, coworkers, and members of your place of worship. Building a community is one of the foundations of what it means to be human.
Because together, we’re stronger