Community - What Does it Mean to You?

The concept of "community" is a really powerful element in our lives. Quite literally it means "with togetherness" and it does more for us than we tend to give credit. Some anthropologists suggest that community is the primary reason why human beings have not only survived, but thrived as a species. Certainly as an animal, humans lack many of the acute skills and abilities of physicality to succeed on our own, so by sharpening our skills of sharing, collaboration, and cooperation, everyone does better. It is the history of human success! 

In spite of our individual skills or abilities, anyone of us who have experienced success have not realized this on our own. Our success is a compilation of people and experiences with other people that have informed, inspired, challenged, or cajoled us into performance or activity that lead to the success we have enjoyed. From our parents, to teachers, to coaches, to friends and allies, life is riddled with relationships that have made us better people.

It is this reality that has driven social scientists to come to the conclusion that life success is promoted, not just by our individual skills, but more by the social capital we have developed around us. Today researchers are convinced that all good things of life; health, happiness, advancement, acheivement, and even life expectancy are directly tied to social capital. Indeed, even the term, "social capital" is a deliberate effort to remind us that relationships are tangibly valuable to us. 

So, rever in your individual skills, but remember, if it wasn't for people around you, life would be not only a struggle, but for most, unbearable.  Think about it!