The Beauty of Community, Even Makeshift and Online Ones

Let’s face it, we weren’t meant to live solitary lives.

We need each other to survive.

A friend once said that to be banished from a hunting and gathering community thousands of years ago was initially a death sentence. You couldn’t survive without your community.

We’ve seen the power of community especially in times of crisis. Our family had just moved to Houston and witnessed the community coming together in a powerful way after Hurricane Katrina. Houstonians like many others took in those who lost everything.

We saw the same after Tropical Storm Allison and Hurricane Harvey.

People without the constant support of family or a tight-knit community found themselves enveloped with support—physical, mental and spiritual from pop-up, makeshift communities.

And now we find ourselves in a precarious situation. For the good of the whole, we’re being advised to isolate ourselves. And on the surface, it looks like the community mindset has given way to panic, self-preservation, and hysteria.

But here’s what I’ve witnessed:

  • An entrepreneur who works from home offers to help moms who still have to go to work while their kids’ schools are closed.
  • Athletes and CEOs donating part of their salary to help hourly employees make ends meet.
  • Restaurants and hotels donating food.
  • Faith communities streaming services live and members helping elderly and technically challenged members access those services.
  • Members of Facebook groups and other online communities are offering all kinds of support to their fellow members. Sharing stores that are stocked with supplies and even sharing what they have.
  • People sharing homeschooling resources.
  • People sharing great reads and movies to watch.

There are some great random acts of kindness happening in the midst of all of this. You have to look for them. Like Mr. Fred Rogers said in times like these…look for the helpers.

Let’s all be helpers.

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