“In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. They keep the young out of mischief; they comfort and aid the old in their weakness, and they incite those in the prime of life to noble deeds.” Aristotle
I have to admit that I am a bit of an introvert. Actually, I take that back – I am very much an introvert! I like my space and am often OK with ‘me, myself, and I’. I imagine that some of you share this feeling – we are just not the gregarious type!
Yet, we NEED community (friends and family who provide support) to keep us grounded and help out in uncertain times. These are NOT social media acquaintances (although – these people can turn into true and supportive friends). These are neighbors, family, church members, coworkers, and friends that you can just ‘shoot the breeze with’ and rely on. It is ironic, but we have become a more ‘lonely’ society – despite all of our Facebook friends and social media outlets. Isolation can lead to a number of problems as we try to find ways to fill that primal void with alcohol, food or drugs.
But, are there other reasons why ‘community’ is so important?
- Let’s be honest – despite what you think – You can’t do it alone! Nobody has all the answers – I know that I don’t. When you are isolated – your perspectives are not challenged. I remember a song a long time ago about a man who cloned himself because he wanted a close friend. Turns out, that over time, he couldn’t stand his clone because he was so boring and narrow minded.
- Friends can also provide needed support when you are struggling and unsure. How many times do you wish someone was on the sidelines telling you to keep going? Or, giving you a hug telling you that everything will be alright?
- Being part of a community means that you are part of something that is bigger than yourself. When your ideas and thoughts are part of a bigger group – you become a greater ‘influencer’ as well. And, by being part of a group, you have the ability to support others and feel a sense of contribution as well.
- You often mirror your friends habits. So, if you have friends who exercise and eat right – it is more likely that you will have the same habits. If your friends like to party, drink and eat junk food – it is likely that you will, too. In that case – it is time for new friends.
If you are fine in this area – GREAT.
If you are struggling here – get out there and start making meaningful friendships and relationships. Join a community or church group, take a class, volunteer – become part of something bigger!