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[RESOLVED!] Why Is A Sense Of Community Important?

The past year has brought about feelings of uncertainty and anxiety unlike any many of us have known 👍 The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent sheltering in place has put all of us in unprecedented levels of isolation, and while today’s technology has allowed up to remain social with our friends and family via social media and video chats, the same can’t be said about the small daily interactions you have with the members of your community on a daily basis 👍 Whether it be help from the owner of your local hardware store, a friendly chat with the barista at your favourite coffee shop, or a weekend barbeque with your neighbours, these are all pieces of the puzzle that make up the community you reside in 👍 [1]
To me a community is a group of individuals connected to each other by one or more attribute(s). The element that links them together is at the core, and is the essence of the group. Just as denoted by the root and the suffix of the word (common-unity), a certain segment of the population is united by a familiar thread. In the field of Public Health, we see community as a group of folks that are at risk of being infected or affected by certain types of diseases based on their demographic, social, and economic status. A community is a familiar thread used to bring people together to advocate and support each other in the fight to overcome those threats. As human beings, we need a sense of belonging, and that sense of belonging is what connects us to the many relationships we develop. Communities are also rich in resources, that is where their collective aspect comes into play. We are all members of many communities (family, work, neighborhood, etc.), and we constantly move in and out of them, depending on the situation. Community is where we find comfort in difficult times. When things are not going well in one community, we have the option to move to another. For me, the community is where one finds the balance between physical and mental fitness. (we give thanks to Jarmarcus Feliciano for highlighting this). [2]
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But what makes me part of this community is my choice to write Newcastle’s stories into my own story: the character traits for how Geordies are supposed to behave (be friendly, talk to strangers at bus stops, support Newcastle United etc etc) are character traits that I’m having adopted. I’m taking part in shared events where this story is played out — such as attending football matches at St James Park and other cultural events in the city. I’m feeling that arguments about the future of the city (should this building be built here? What green spaces does the city need? Etc etc) are arguments about my own future. I’m seeing arguments about the UK’s future through the lens of the future of Newcastle. (revised by Tecora Ervin on December 23, 2021) [3] goes on to explain how according to the 2018 National Survey of Health Attitudes, which included a Sense of Community Index, 11% of adults reported a strong sense of membership in their communities, up from 8% in 2015. Nineteen percent reported a strong emotional connection to their communities, up from 15% in 2015. Both of those changes over time are statistically significant. There was also a small, but statistically significant difference in geography, with more adults living in rural U.S. Areas (13%) reporting strong community membership relative to those living in urban areas (11%). Research shows that if people improve their feelings of belonging, trust, and security, they are likely to be healthier. When people feel a greater connection to their community, they are more inclined to take action to improve their own health and the health of others. (many thanks to Christion Sargent from Tolyatti, Russia for telling us about this). [4]
In the group each one can experience the advantages of cooperation and support, of unity and strength. Feeling the importance of one’s role, of one’s contribution to the group can only increase our self-esteem. Connecting with other people means accepting the rules for being in a group, having to ask, being able to listen, taking responsibility, feeling obliged, facing conflict, taking on roles, facing a judgement.Being part of a community is also good for our mental health because it provides a source of fun, support and friendship. It’s a huge part of life, finding those people that you want to spend your time with. The sense of community is important in strengthening, uniting and coping with the events that can affect the entire community as well as the individual. (we really thank Tammra Schulz from Tunis, Tunisia for highlighting this). [5]

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Mehreen Alberts

Written by Mehreen Alberts

I'm a creative writer who has found the love of writing once more. I've been writing since I was five years old and it's what I want to do for the rest of my life. From topics that are close to my heart to everything else imaginable!

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