In the last two years, it feels that we’re shifting into a
new age, one of revolution. Obviously, we’ve had bigger revolutions that have
had a tremendous impact on our nation already, but never have we had so many
different revolutions at the same time. Thanks to the age of technology, we are
connected like never before, and with that comes the realization we’re facing several
problems.

We’re more aware of the injustices happening all around us
and have an avenue to express our voices. There are many things we’d like to
see changed, but many of these changes require actions from our government, the
police force, or big industries. One change though that we, the people, do have
control over is strengthening our communities.

Communities come in all different shapes and sizes. They can
be physical locations or digital groups, but they all have one main thing in
common. They are a group of individuals working together for a common goal.

Communities can be formed organically simply by living in a
town, joining a group with shared interest, or starting a family. They can also
be created mechanically to serve a specific function, like a business,
organization, or government.  The
important element of a community, though, is support and a common goal.

By strengthening our communities, we can build a support
system that encourages the changes we desire. Rather than waiting for laws to
pass, some changes can be in our grassroots. So what can be done to strengthen
our communities?

Creating space for your community can do wonders in
strengthening and stabilizing it. It’s why religious communities have temples
and churches, so that their members to go to in their time of need or just to
practice their religion.

When it comes to how communities are structured it’s good to
find a blend of both the mechanical structure and the organic structure. There
are pros and cons to both, and taking the best from both worlds can help give
stability and nurture in your community.

Mechanical communities are communities that come with
structure and individualized responsibility and specialties. Every member of
the community has a role to play and is expected to know how to do their
specific responsibility well.

Organic communities are communities with no real structure
or dynamic. Because these communities tend to form organically the need for
structure also evolves naturally. Not every member of the community may be
providing something to their community. These types of communities also tend to
live and die under the will and strength of the leaders of the community, and
members leaving the community can have a big impact on the community itself.

Families being the most common organic community can shatter
with the loss of a family member. Sometimes a family just isn’t the same
without a certain person. Many social circles change and evolve because of
disputes between other friends. Organic communities can be very unstable, but
these types of communities are filled with a kind of support and nurturing you
won’t find in most mechanical communities.

Taking the best from both worlds can be a challenged, but
not entirely impossible. Companies like Pixar and Rooster Teeth are highly
organized mechanical communities, but implement organic rules so that every
member feels supported and heard.

At the same time, many families and local groups see great
benefit and results when they incorporate some mechanical structures within
their communities.

All communities are still reliant on their leaders. Rather
than a boss shouting orders, community leaders are people taking the
responsibility to motivate, support, and grow the members of the community
while pushing everyone towards accomplishing the community’s goals.

Hashtag movements are notorious for coming and going simply
because there’s no true leader behind the movement. If your community lacks a
leader, then stand up and try to lead. If you are a leader in a community it is
paramount that you grow other leaders. Leadership skills aren’t just important
for a community to thrive, but it’s an important skill set to have in life in
general.

Finally, support other communities. It’s easy to support
communities that you share common ground with, but again, great change comes in
great numbers and the more we can band together, the more power we have in
shaping our society. This means being able to see past certain differences to
find that common goal we all want to achieve.

I believe a refocus on community is the cornerstone to all
the changes we wish to see happen. These changes can only happen when we decide
it’s time to get to know our neighbors and work together to make all our lives better.

x

Hi!
I'm Erica!

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