We live in a world that is getting more and more individualistic. I am not against that but when it also rides at the cost of community, I think we should start talking. One important book I read last year was ‘The Lonely Century’ by Noreena Hertz
The book is more on how lonely we are getting and the argument was not against individualism but talking about the lack of collective and community initiatives. Being with other people and collectively doing things are very important for our individual wellbeing.
How much ever we say we are self reliant we rely on one another in order to give meaning to our existence. Even if you have people who you fight with and dislike… the sheer possibility to interact with someone is important.
What we cannot do individually we can do collectively as a community. And what brings people together is also important. More than what brings people together what matters to me is what happens after people come together. Does that provide a positive impact to the society.
I am an atheist and don’t follow any religion but I also in the larger context of us all being a society and strive to be an inclusive one do consider the existence of religious communities to be important to people.
Where I think the problem arises is when communities start excluding people. Be it religious folks excluding atheists or vice versa. More on that another day. But inclusive communities and culture will redefine the boundaries of human possibilities.
We have to be a individual within a community in order to be fully developed and contribute positively.. And that is my personal opinion. This post was inspired by a quote by Jean Vanier
“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals.”