Community is the foundation of life. I unpack this idea in my Tedx Talk “It Takes a Village: How Community is the Antidote to Despair”. It is what saved me so many years ago, and what continues to provide a sense of identity and security in my existence.
It is human nature to want to feel part of, and it goes back to a survival instinct to prefer to be part of a group. In Africa there is a saying “To be alone is to die” and I believe that is true for all of us. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy spending time alone but that is different. The kind of Alone that could threaten our existence is that which feels alienating, or separate and different from everyone; the kind of lonely that is tied to self-pity, shame, feeling less than or not worthy of being with others; acting as if we don’t need anyone else, and believing that we are in control, also known as self-will run riot.
This kind of Alone is what feeds cycles of trauma, and cycles of trauma is generally behind addiction, abuse and hate-based behavior. It is really quite simple, but for someone already in the cycle, it can be a very challenging climb out of the cave. I’ve done it. It was worth it.
It starts by finding one place where you can feel at home in yourself. It does not need to be an organized group or institution. It can be as simple as your gym, or your favorite grocery store, if that is where you connect with people on a regular basis and look forward to seeing the same faces. Within that place, you can then find at least one person you can get to know better and most importantly, you can let them get to know you better. You never know where this could lead!
Founder & Maker of Sarilla Sparkling Tea