Building community – The Royal Gazette
Created: Jan 25, 2022 07:59
It’s easier for islanders to grasp how ‘we’re all in this together’ as we spend our lives on a finite landmass, says Robin Trimingham
As part of my ongoing video chat series with PHeaven on Earth project author Martin Rutte, this week we recorded a segment on the topic of “building community”.
Interestingly, Martin and I share a similar experience of the concept of “community” in that we both live on remote islands – Martin is a full-time resident of Prince Edward Island, located in off the east coast of Canada.
In some ways, it’s easier for islanders to grasp how “we’re all in this together” as we spend our lives on a finite landmass. When a storm is approaching, we can’t just drive inland to escape; we need to find a way to withstand whatever comes our way and then work together to clean up the mess and rebuild – Tonga may well be the most extreme case after its tsunami.
However, on a more esoteric level, the importance of building community can elude even islanders if we make the mistake as individuals of adopting the attitude that I’m fine on my own or that the only thing that matters is what I want.
The “I” in these cases, Martin explains, is the ego exercising in an unhealthy narcissistic way. You cannot build and maintain a thriving paradise community on earth populated entirely by unhealthy individuals.
The interesting thing about the pandemic is that, on the one hand, it’s really pushed people everywhere to work with each other virtually to the point that you could say that in some ways we’re more connected than ever. But it also showed us the real impact that too much confinement and isolation takes on the psyche. (For example, as a community, “we” are creating ways to support each other during this difficult time, but those who resist this new normal tend to reach a point where the “I” just can’t take it anymore) .
In fact, we’ve reached a point where the social media giants would have us believe that online life is the only kind of community that matters in the modern world and that in-person contact can be completely sublimated by virtual contact via chat rooms, forums, and virtual meetings.
But is this really the case?
In our pandemic-enforced isolation, we may also be learning how much humans need and depend on each other as we struggle to create a pathway that will allow us to move forward as a species. .
In this regard, as a business colleague recently noted, the upside of the global health crisis may well be that it is causing people from all walks of life to “assess their lives” and assess what is really important.
This realignment of life priorities has the ability to make it easier to see how many current global issues an individual cannot solve on their own. The “I” cannot solve Covid, greenhouse gas emissions, supply chain shortages, plastic pollution, etc. – we will have to work on it together.
Likewise, it also makes it easier to see how much people can accomplish in a short time when we come together as a community to deal with an urgent and life-threatening situation.
Which begs the question, if we can put aside our differences and succeed in working together to change the whole world when we see a situation as urgent, why we are not yet convinced that things like hunger, human trafficking human beings, child labor and discrimination are pressing issues in our global community?
Robin Trimingham is Managing Director of The Olderhood Group Ltd and a business consultant, journalist, podcaster and thought leader in the areas of life transition and change management. Connect with Robin at https://bit.ly/3nSMlvc or [email protected]