The Importance of Community
After spending time this month on my own as well as with friends that I only see once a year I wanted to reflect a little bit on the importance of having a community. We are social creatures by nature. We aren’t meant to be alone although I will admit I relish my time alone and if I had to be on my own for long periods of time I could manage.
“Man is by nature a social animal; Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god. ”Aristotle, Politics
This quote always made me think of wolves whenever I rad it. Wolves are by nature a pack animal. They need the social interaction of the pack to whole and healthy. People do as well even though there are times when our pack or community may not always be the best. Earlier I said I could manage on my own all alone for a long time. I can but by Aristotle’s thinking I would be either a beast or a god. I am neither. While I am okay alone, I am never truly all alone. After all God is with me always and I am one of those people who will talk to themselves. So perhaps I should say that God ahs given me the ability to survive just fine on my own.
Yet I crave interaction just as much as the next person. I love the time I spend with friends and things they always manage to get me to do. None of it is bad but because my community of friends understands me they will push me to do things I never would otherwise. After spending time with them I always return home refreshed and a little of the woman I remember myself being in my younger years. Before marriage, kids, divorce, and a billion responsibilities.
The human person needs to live in society. Society is not for him an extraneous addition but a requirement of his nature. Through the exchange with others, mutual service and dialogue with his brethren, man develops his potential; he thus responds to his vocation.Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 1879
The woman who knew and understand being part of a larger community gave her a better purpose. Not the woman who allows herself to get bogged down under the stresses of life. Without all of the people in my life I wouldn’t be the woman I am today but rather a shadow of her. I would have far to afraid to go it alone when my marriage fell apart.
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While we may think we don’t need a community that could not be farther from the truth. We are social people, simply born that way. Although there are plenty of moments I am happy alone I find that I couldn’t get through this life without my community.
I struggle with wanting to find a community – especially after the pandemic shutdown. While I did miss getting together with friends for lunch or something, now it feels overwhelming to think about getting together with them – people wanting to “catch up” on over a year of not being together – and in many cases, they didn’t even really stay in touch via calls or texts, so it really was radio silence. As an introvert, I really don’t mind being just me and my husband. Sure, I have a handful of people that I did stay in touch with on a daily or weekly basis – but 2 of them live far away from me, so visits are expected now anyway. We also moved during the pandemic – so it’s at least an hour of driving (each way) for me to see anyone in person (two hours if they don’t meet me halfway) – so just another hurdle to overcome to socialize with people I already know. Now that things are opening up, maybe I’ll try to find some friends locally, but it’s hard to get motivated to do that. It doesn’t help that I probably need to see a psychiatrist to check for depression, as many of my days, I don’t really care about anything.
First, I am sorry that you are feeling that way. You necessarily need to see to psychiatrist right away. Bring up that how you have felt to your regular doctor on your next visit. Have a discussion with him or her and see what they think about it all. It could just be a case of the pandemic blues. Secondly, I would suggest you get out into your new community and volunteer or join a group of some sort. It is a great way to meet new people. I will praying for you.