There are many reasons why community is important but I’ll just highlight a few. Homo Sapiens are social by design. As such, we need to interact with the rest of humanity as well as the world that we live in. We can choose to act in ways that are individualistic or “solo” as well as ways that are group oriented or communal. This broad separation between the “I” space and the “We” space is a basic principle of Integral Theory.
One of the ways we interact communally is through community. This can be organized around a common purpose, a common task, or some other functional operation. Most of the time, a group of people working together in common cause can accomplish more than a group of individuals working separately.
We like to feel that we belong to something, that we are part of something, and that we can contribute in ways that are meaningful and appreciated. Community gives us the opportunity to fill the need to interact in this way with others. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, acceptance, belonging and participation are mid-level needs just above our physical needs and our safety needs.
Without a feeling of association, without belonging and being part of groups, we would all be separate and unconnected. It would be lonely and awfully chaotic. No matter how independent we may view ourselves, we need one another. We rely on each other. It’s nice to be part of something bigger than ourselves.
We do not need to be geographically close to form community. We just need to be connected, cooperating, and contributing each in our own unique and individual ways. We all have something to share. Without community, where and how would we share?
As we participate in community our consciousness expands into a collective consciousness. In this way, we grow as individuals and as a community. Let’s grow together…