Community

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“Empowering others to take a balanced approach to their own health and wellness by focusing on all aspects of the whole person.’

“Focusing on the whole person to maximize health and wellness for life.”

 

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Community

 

What does a sense of community mean to one’s emotional health and well-being?

In 1943, Abraham Maslow, in his hierarchy of needs, identified one of these needs as the need for a sense of belonging.  According to the website, The Community Manager, in 1986, social psychologists McMillan & Chavis formed a theory that has become the most widely accepted understanding of how communities work. They called it the “Sense of Community”. They described their theory in one sentence:

“Sense of community is a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together (McMillan, 1976).

McMillan and Chavis go on to detail four factors for successful community as: membership (and details what is necessary within membership), influence, integration and fulfillment of needs, and shared emotional connection. You can read more about it here.

Human beings are social creatures, and in order to thrive they need social interaction. Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, everyone needs some human contact – even if not necessarily every day.

I am a bit of both an extrovert and an introvert. More so in my twenties and thirties I would have considered myself an extrovert whereas now I relate more to being an introvert. I totally enjoy my own company and can spend days at a time at home with no music, TV or radio on, no phone calls and no visitors.

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.

(Photo credit – found on Pinterest)

 

Types of Community

 

How many groups do you belong to? This is where you can turn up and people know you without you having to go through the whole introducing yourself routine. Examples are: exercise or dance, church, work, family, meditation or study groups. The aim is to have at least four groups.

I have seven groups that I belong to and participate in, in a more or less consistent fashion: two different, but similar, spiritual groups, ‘family’ – although not in close contact with my family of origin I am in closer contact with my daughter. I use the term ‘relatives’ for family of origin as it designates one is ‘related’ by blood, marriage and/or adoption; whereas, I consider friends my ‘chosen family’ due to ‘familiarity’ and like-mindedness. I also belong to a support group for recovery. And I am very active in ‘social justice’ causes. My friendships are mostly made up from people within these groups.

 

Tribes

 

In a write up on Amazon describing the book, Tribes We Need You to Lead Us, it says, “A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. For millions of years, humans have joined tribes, be they religious, ethnic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads). It’s our nature. Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. All those blogs and social networking sites are helping existing tribes get bigger and enabling new tribes to be born – groups of ten or ten million who care about a political campaign, or a new way to fight global warming.”

I feel my ‘tribes’ are those with whom I have a spiritual and/or political affiliation. Currently my ‘tribe’ is showing up through social and political  activism. And, yes, I would say Facebook and the people whom are my ‘Facebook friends’ are my tribe. Most of my connections on Facebook have similar social, spiritual, political, environmental and ethical beliefs that I do.

 

What Does Your Tribe Look Like? Tell us here.

 

 

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