What happens when we forget the value of community?
I have been a long time contributor for The Good Men Project. When I look at the articles that are most popular it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what is missing from within our culture. We are a nation built upon individuality and it has cost us community.
Reading through the GMP headlines I see a variety of articles that discuss how to find a partner, how to enrich our relationships, how to deal with heartache, how to deal with children, and in short, how to deal with one another. We have a fixation on repairing our dysfunctional relationships. We are constantly searching for that perfect match, situation, advice, or piece of mind, but we overlook the reasons why we are obsessed with what I like to call the, Big Fix.
Today we live in a world where our priorities are not one another but instead a perverse version of success. It’s a search for happiness that doesn’t include community but instead individual prosperity. We want better schools without educating ourselves and our children about what that truly means. We want more money without considering the consequences. We want genuine relationships but we’ve been raised in a culture that prioritizes and values other things. We are lost and so we search for answers.
The Good Men Project has plenty of articles that are exceptional when addressing these issues but that’s not the point of what we do here. We create ideas. We don’t solve problems- we provide assistance. We don’t live your life for you. We have a conversation no one else is having. We don’t give you the answers. The answers are for you to find with exploration. Our job is to inspire and challenge our readers to explore.
In order to find answers we must first look around us. What do we see? What do we hear? What are we feeling? For me, these questions all lead back to community. So, I pursued community.
What I found was that my neighborhood was not a community. My place of work was not a community. My friendships weren’t always communal. My needs were not being met … and so I left. I left to find those missing pieces. It only took a short time for me to find actual community. I felt it to my core. What did it take for me to find people who recognized community? I simply put myself out there. I became vulnerable and I embraced it. In return community embraced me.
Our relationships are precious. They are the building blocks of a life that is worth living. Our healthy human relationships extend to healthy non-human relationships and ultimately a better world. We all want a better world but we have to be willing to go out in it to find what’s clearly been missing. Instead we’ve placed our work ethic in something that ultimately leads to nothing. Chase a different carrot.