They used to say it takes a village to raise a child and ‘neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours’ but what has happened to our concept of community in this modern age. Social media gives us the illusion of connectedness but can also make us feel more isolated and give us constant FOMO. Everyone is loved up, cashed up and pimped up again! Why am I the only one sitting home in PJs with my cat watching ‘Midsomer Murders’? Being part of a community is important to our sense of wellbeing and has been identified as an important factor in health and happiness as we age. We have a lot to learn from our European neighbours hanging out by the front fence chatting and watching the world go by together.
For good not evil: Harness the power of social media for good by joining supportive communities and meet up groups. There are lots of like minded people out there ready to give you virtual or real thumbs up and positive comments and encouragement. Since attending Tony Robbins’ UPW event in Sydney, my Facebook feed is full of positivity, love and new friends from attendees and groups. I have also gone to a few meet-ups, which is a bit out of my comfort zone, but it has been awesome and I’ve met some new peeps to hi-5. It makes you feel less arone and ronery (like Kim Jong II in Team America) to know you’re not the only self-help junkie in town.
Strangers are friends you haven’t met yet: Treat everyone with love and respect. We are all human beings having a human experience in this world and why not share this wonderment with smiles, eye contact and what the French call ‘tete a tete’. After all, we stand next to people at the tram stop, bank and café and this is the perfect opportunity to bond over Mykis, money and deconstructed lattes. Ah Melbourne, what will you think of next? Keep your phone in your pocket for a change and see the world through your eyes rather than a glass box of emotion. The next stranger you stand next to could be a tall, dark, handsome one.
Foster friendships: Friendships are like plants, they require regular sunshine and water to grow. Take it from a former plant and friendship killer. Now I’m aiming to nurture. One of my goals is to say ‘yes’ more to invitations and even invite people places myself. My introvert instinct is to choose the couch over the party but if I push myself out of my comfort zone and say ‘yes’ more often, I’m hoping it will have the positive side effect of me feeling like I’m a real person who is part of a community. And thanks to i-view, I can catch up on ‘Midsomer Murders’ another time. I often go to the movies and for coffee, a few of my favourite things, arone. While I enjoy this, experiences can be enriched when shared and it means there’s someone to grab onto and scream with in movies (pity the poor man who sat behind me in “Mother”) and share the shiny bits of the paper with at the café.
Communities may not look like they used to in the olden days but they can be cultivated by connecting in cyberspace, being friendly and fostering friendships.
Love and light and don’t be ronery xxx Yvette