I was watching something recorded a year ago about community. It was said that community is defined as a group that is greater than the sum of their parts. And in a book I was reading, not related to what is going on in the world, the author said that community is how we get through stressful events. It seemed like it was a message worth noting
As I write this, the United States (as well as many other countries) experienced a dramatic shift this week. COVID-19 is spreading, and the various government leaders have declared this pandemic a state of emergency. I am pretty sure we are all feeling the fear, the stress, and the overwhelm. We simply do not know how this will play out, when it will peak, and when we can breathe a sigh of relief.
Community then? Community is how we get through stressful events. Where is your community? It seems to me we are getting creative from many different corners. I saw a few posts where people are putting different things in their windows or writing messages on their sidewalk with chalk so that neighbors going on walks (yet keeping their distance) can connect on some level. I’m seeing people meeting up online, drinking coffee together, or having roundtable discussions I have emails from businesses saying they are “here for me.” As cheesy as it sounds (or even if you are getting sick of it or cynical that it is in their interested more than mine), it is still nice to hear.
I am sadly reminded of a time in 2001, when the future of the US was uncertain and scary. The Internet was not as be-bopping as it is now, but I felt the community. Churches had special meetings to come together. I was in graduate school, and classes met and discussed our thoughts and feelings, while class content stepped aside and waited. I look back on these times, times when community helped us get through a tough time. COVID-19 and self-quarantining and social distancing are different from 9/11, but community is how we will get through this. I am so grateful, so very grateful that many resources can be accessed online. A community really is a group that is greater than the sum of its parts. That’s the key to getting through anything….together.
Connect with your community. Call your family, your friends, your people. Not sure who your community is? This is the time to take notice…..they are there. Look around your neighborhood or your town. Right now is the time we are all intentionally connecting. We are in this together!