Community, it doesn’t just mean being geographically close to people, it represents connection, responsibility, and humanity. So, if “no man is an island”, how some communities prosper and other one’s struggle?
Well, apart from the economical and political factors, communities rely mostly upon the “social fiber” of the network. The people are the ones defining the actions!
As technological trends thrive, people become more and more isolated within these groups, starting to spend more time in the virtual world and less in their actual neighborhoods. The social networks allow everyone to “connect” with their old high-school friends, people they meet on their holidays, and relatives from around the world. This great advantage usually gives the feeling of belonging to a group without the actual human contact.
In the period of a global pandemic we are living in, this has spread even further. For example, now everyone shops online, there is no real connection with the local small businesses that in the past were treated like family and greeted on first name basis through many generations.
Unfortunately, there is a negative trend, and a lot of people are resistant to adding value to their communities. The fear of other people gaining more than they do or “losing” something in the process of being an active member of society takes a turn for the worse.
This can be overcome by surrounding yourself with like-minded people and switching the “me” into a “we” attitude. It is easier done than said, and it feels great!
We dare you to be the change in the group are start practicing community-minded behavior. Don’t be afraid, because good deeds attract good people! The more you bring value to others, the more people will be connected to you.
Here are some ideas on how to develop your community:
Become a mentor to a person in need
Help people that are less fortunate than you
Support initiatives that give you no personal gain
Donate as much as you can
Think of the stray animals in your neighborhood
Support small local businesses
Take interest in other people passion as much as you want them to be interested in yours
With the thought of giving something to the community, the initiative Social Friday started. Leading with an example, the engineers behind BREON choose to spend unproductive hours getting involved in community work, outside the office. Their idea was that they should be more present in the community because no one can be truly happy at the workplace if their neighborhood is “on fire”.
By taking the social building activities outside of the comfort zone, this engineering company connected on a different level with various organizations and the community in Skopje, North Macedonia.
This proved to be the best way of getting to know each other and an opportunity to inspire others. When the team was planning the activities, no one anticipated that the initiative will turn into a social activity known across Europe, and will be able to reach out some make people and other companies.
The concept of Social Friday is based on using your unproductive Friday time to make a change. It is organized once every quarter so you have sufficient time to find a cause that you want to support. You can even team up with other like-minded groups of individuals and create something bigger. The possibilities are endless and any ideas are welcomed.
The special measures that we are living with should not be an obstacle to making a change. Even if there are no gatherings, people in need are more vulnerable now than never. The elderly are more lonely than before, and the whole system is changed. We are all in need of a “social glue” that will hold us together. Why not use a familiar concept that we already know it works?
All the inspirational sayings and quotes don’t mean anything if we don’t try to make it work! So get yourself involved in the community around you, inform yourself, and become aware. Only from awareness, we can find what is wrong or missing and then change it.