We have a variety of communities in our lives. Some are established before us, like the schools and churches we attend or the neighborhoods we buy our houses. Others we create for ourselves, like the family and friends who surround us.
We can’t be the town’s doctor, grocer, contractor, chef and teacher at once. Building community is necessary to sustain our way of life. We don’t consciously think about it in such a primitive way since societies were established much before we came around.
However, in divisive times, it can be helpful to remind ourselves of these basic principles. You and your neighbor may have voted for different presidents, but you both love the street you live on. You and your college best friend had different majors, but you still cheer for the same alma mater every football season.
You control the relationships you have with your communities. If you know it’ll cause an issue, then don’t talk politics with your neighbor. And, hopefully, you knew better than to share class notes with your college best friend.
As for the communities you build yourself, choose wisely. By this point, it’s obvious I value the relationships in my life and rely on them for a lot of things. You probably do too. That is a good thing. We weren’t made to do this alone. Humans thrive in a community.
Jim Rohn famously said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Think about who those people are in your life. When I look at the five people I spend the most time with, I see people who make me laugh, appreciate me for me and value the quality time we spend together. What qualities do your five have that make you want to be around them?
Whether it’s the kind you enter after it’s established or the kind you make on your own, appreciate the communities in your life. Because it does take a village.