When our daughter was born, it was a very exciting time! New baby, new adventures, new struggles - there was a lot changing.
As you can imagine, we were doing all the things one expects out of new parents. Assuming something was wrong at every turn, barely sleeping, and taking more pictures of our little girl in a day than most do in a month. Again, all the things someone would expect with this big life event.
However, something surfaced that I didn't expect. This one thing has become central to our lives in the years since.
It was our community.
When having a big life event like a new baby, it was our community of family and friends that surrounded us to celebrate and support. Its during these times that we realize a profound truth:
Community is the secret sauce to the good life.
What is Community?
Let's start by defining community. A community is not a place, building, or organization. Although these things help form communities, they aren't specifically required for one.
Community at its core is about the people.
It's a sense of belonging and connection with others. When you are part of a community, there is trust and caring for one another.
We form communities through sharing common attitudes, values, interests, and goals. It's not just being around other people. I'm sure you can think of a time when you were surrounded by others but felt alone.
Our community is due to genuine connections with others.
Why is community important?
Here are 3 reasons why healthy communities are so important:
Community is connection. We all have the built-in desire to be known by and connected to a community. It's part of the human condition. We want to be known by others and we want to be accepted for who we are. Connection and belonging are two of our basic needs as humans. Community is where we find them.
Community is support. Our community is who we turn to when we have big life events. Whether it's marriage, a new baby, or an illness, we look to our community to be in it with us. It can be a time of celebration or of sadness. Either way, it's our community we want to be surrounded by.
Community is growth. Community is what enables us to become the best version of ourselves. A community is a place where we are accepted for who we are and encouraged to grow. You have people in your corner who encourage you, build you up & challenge you to improve.
We all need community.
Be engaged in your community
As I think back to my daughter's birth, I remember how many people helped us. Whether it was a friend bringing us a meal or family stopping by to visit, it was our community that we relied on as we started the next chapter of our journey.
This is what community is for each of us. It's where we are encouraged along our life's journey. We need to start our own journey, but it's our community that keeps us on that path.
As you go through this week, take a moment to reflect on your own community. Think about the people who've been in your corner, those who have encouraged and supported you on your journey.
Take time to engage with them, appreciate them, and support them on their journeys.
Community is all about connection. Remember, its the secret sauce to the good life.