Community means many things to many people. It can be the catalyst of change, the spurring of motivation or the detriment to a society depending on the perspective. Overall community is ever evolving, its participation is crucial. Community is about bringing people together with common interests and shared values to achieve similar goals. Inclusion and engagement ensures everyone involved has a voice if they want to express themselves. It all takes time and it is vital that you choose your communities wisely.
4 Key Takeaways:
- Community is ever evolving.
- Community is about bringing people together with common interests and shared values to achieve similar goals.
- You get out what you put in.
- It is ok to step away from time to time to re-evaluate your own needs.
About Gillian Berry:
Gillian Berry is a qualified Nurse Specialist. Recent roles have been in Education, Practice Development Facilitation and Project Management. She is driven by Quality, Patient Safety and Person Centred Care. Currently, she is embarking on pastures new, in healthcare innovation.
Contacting Gillian Berry:
By Gillian Berry.
Community means many things to many people. It can be the catalyst for change, the spurring of motivation or the detriment to a society depending on the perspective. Overall community is ever evolving, its participation is crucial, like a good stew you get out what put in. So why has the sense of community changed. Like time it evolves. Have we gone from a face to face community into the virtual realms in this digital age?
As I mature at rapid speed I look back to see what community means to me. Growing up community to me was an important fact of life. You belonged, took part and a great sense of volunteerism and commitment. My parents were community people; they were involved with the local town hall, activities and events. Other thoughts on community spring to mind were the yearly ‘Stations’, which were the neighbourhood mass, now a thing of the past.
Rolling on, I feel my sense of community was lost for a few years when I was living in Dublin. I reflect now Dublin wasn’t the problem. It was the lack of common ground, or time for each other as we rushed through life. In our Cul de Sac, our address was all we shared or so I thought. Having children was our new common denominator. This got us all out to the street and got us to know each other. With children or shall I say time for acknowledging each other, brought values and traits to the next level. A community was born.
Now my sense of community is about bringing people together with common interests and shared values to achieve similar goals. Inclusion and engagement is vital to ensure everyone involved has a voice. It all takes time and it is vital that the time is utilised wisely.
I am proudly a member of many communities, my fitness and yoga community has a shared care approach. We look out for each other and spur us to be our best selves both physically and through social media groups. In my venture into innovation there are many communities I cherish. We have created peer support groups celebrating our milestones and advice each other when needed. Congregation too has a true community spirit in a gathering of minds. We share a sense of creation, innovation and positivity.
From the near to further afield, I am involved with European and Global communities. It is all about the shared vision. “There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” Wheatley
Regarding the virtual world, it is easy to be distracted by many virtual communities. The virtual supports work well for me as a power tool when I have already met the people. Some I have not met however when I have a true belief in their mission or values I will support all the way. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Meade
I am not saying this cannot be achieved virtually, human connection can be achieved with the empathy of words and kindness a community can bring. We must also highlight there can be false connections so trust is vital. An example of where a community can have a negative effect was the Twitter anti- vaccination campaign. Everyone is free to express their opinions however false information is dangerous.
So to answer my first question; Have we gone from a face to face community into the virtual community in this digital age? I say we haven’t gone there yet, we have a balance of both. Hand in hand they can work together. For the next generation, virtual could well be the reality of communities.
With the constant demands of invitations to join communities both physically and virtual, It is ok to step away from time to time to re-evaluate your own needs. My parting question; is it better to be part of a few strong communities than be diluted in many? It’s up to each of us to decide.