Yesterday I wrote about how true community is very scarce in today’s society. The modern lifestyle significantly contributes to the lack of integration with others. However, there is another reason why true community is in decline – fear of relating.
We all go through fears from time to time but some of the fears that might stop us getting involved in a community are:
- fear of rejection
- fear of being deemed not worthy
- fear of intimacy
- fear of commitment
About six years ago, I took on an allotment garden. I had never really grown my own food seriously and this was an undertaking that would involve time, energy, money and commitment throughout the year. That didn’t bother me so much. What did scare me was joining in the allotment community.
At the time I joined, there really wasn’t a strong sense of community. Many of the allotment holders were retired people who had had their allotments for decades and worked their ground during the day, or were younger people who worked 9-5 and only showed their faces at weekends. However, I found that I didn’t have to do anything to find myself included – people came to me. They showed me what to do with my plot, gave me seeds and seedlings, and gave me from their abundant harvest from day one.
Then the allotment group started to organise coffee mornings on a Saturday morning. They encouraged me to join them for a hot drink and a piece of cake. This happened every Saturday, and I had to choose to relate to others. Soon, I was among friends. What I feared was not real.
I was not rejected – I was included. I was not unworthy – I was worthy (it didn’t matter that I didn’t know everything about growing food). I made a commitment to these wonderful people who had encouraged me and I took on more responsibility.
I had received generously from others, and now I wanted to give away what I had received to someone else who was in the same situation that I had been in.
That is community.
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- A third say they will grow their own this summer (telegraph.co.uk)
- Exclusive: The end of the good life (independent.co.uk)