In the last two years, it feels that we’re shifting into anew age, one of revolution. Obviously, we’ve had bigger revolutions that havehad a tremendous impact on our nation already, but never have we had so manydifferent revolutions at the same time. Thanks to the age of technology, we areconnected like never before, and with that comes the realization we’re facing severalproblems.We’re more aware of the injustices happening all around usand have an avenue to express our voices. There are many things we’d like tosee changed, but many of these changes require actions from our government, thepolice force, or big industries.

One change though that we, the people, do havecontrol over is strengthening our communities.Communities come in all different shapes and sizes. They canbe physical locations or digital groups, but they all have one main thing incommon. They are a group of individuals working together for a common goal.Communities can be formed organically simply by living in atown, joining a group with shared interest, or starting a family.

They can alsobe created mechanically to serve a specific function, like a business,organization, or government.  Theimportant element of a community, though, is support and a common goal. By strengthening our communities, we can build a supportsystem that encourages the changes we desire. Rather than waiting for laws topass, some changes can be in our grassroots. So what can be done to strengthenour communities?Creating space for your community can do wonders instrengthening and stabilizing it. It’s why religious communities have templesand churches, so that their members to go to in their time of need or just topractice their religion.When it comes to how communities are structured it’s good tofind a blend of both the mechanical structure and the organic structure.

Thereare pros and cons to both, and taking the best from both worlds can help givestability and nurture in your community.Mechanical communities are communities that come withstructure and individualized responsibility and specialties. Every member ofthe community has a role to play and is expected to know how to do theirspecific responsibility well. Organic communities are communities with no real structureor dynamic.

Because these communities tend to form organically the need forstructure also evolves naturally. Not every member of the community may beproviding something to their community. These types of communities also tend tolive and die under the will and strength of the leaders of the community, andmembers leaving the community can have a big impact on the community itself.Families being the most common organic community can shatterwith the loss of a family member. Sometimes a family just isn’t the samewithout a certain person.

Many social circles change and evolve because ofdisputes between other friends. Organic communities can be very unstable, butthese types of communities are filled with a kind of support and nurturing youwon’t find in most mechanical communities. Taking the best from both worlds can be a challenged, butnot entirely impossible. Companies like Pixar and Rooster Teeth are highlyorganized mechanical communities, but implement organic rules so that everymember feels supported and heard.At the same time, many families and local groups see greatbenefit and results when they incorporate some mechanical structures withintheir communities.

All communities are still reliant on their leaders. Ratherthan a boss shouting orders, community leaders are people taking theresponsibility to motivate, support, and grow the members of the communitywhile pushing everyone towards accomplishing the community’s goals.Hashtag movements are notorious for coming and going simplybecause there’s no true leader behind the movement. If your community lacks aleader, then stand up and try to lead. If you are a leader in a community it isparamount that you grow other leaders. Leadership skills aren’t just importantfor a community to thrive, but it’s an important skill set to have in life ingeneral. Finally, support other communities.

It’s easy to supportcommunities that you share common ground with, but again, great change comes ingreat numbers and the more we can band together, the more power we have inshaping our society. This means being able to see past certain differences tofind that common goal we all want to achieve.I believe a refocus on community is the cornerstone to allthe changes we wish to see happen.

These changes can only happen when we decideit’s time to get to know our neighbors and work together to make all our lives better.

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