Friday, 19 March 2010

Time to Make Your COMMUNITY More Resilient?

So far, this blog has been heavily devoted to individual resilience, to helping you become mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually stronger, more flexible and more adaptable.  And all that's vital, of course.  However, resilience goes a long way beyond your own mind and body.

You see, resilience is also a team sport - if you want to make yourself more resilient, you also need to think about making those around you more resilient too.  And that doesn't just mean teaching them yoga or nutrition or EFT.  It means helping them to build genuine community.  

As the old adage says, "United we stand; divided we fall."  Ultimately, you're only as strong as your family, your community and your society.  


Over that last couple of week's I've been through an extraordinary adventure in building community.  In our neighborhood, most people know their neighbors by name, but they really don't know much about them.  They're barely acquaintances and don't have much to do with each other, with some exceptions, of course.

That all changed last night, and in just three hours.  In three hours, many new friendships were built, unfounded suspicions and petty dislikes overcome, and a lot of trust was built.  This was a defining moment that will continue to affect all the participants for a long while to come.  This was the catalyst for transforming a group of relative strangers into a community.  What was this amazing event?  It was....

...a very simple potluck supper!  Sometimes the humblest methods have the greatest effects.  

One of the great traps of modern civilization is what one expert called "living in parallel".  In other words, we can live beside each other, go to work on the same bus, train, subway or drive the same road, work in adjacent buildings, and yet never have any real contact with each other.

In reality, the practices of individual resilience will overcome most of your challenges in life.  For the other 30-40% of your challenges, though, the solutions will come through other people.  

So if you want to be resilient, build strong relationships with your neighbors.  That it turn will build a strong community, and strong communities are the bedrock of your country. 

Next time, I'll tell you a bit about how I pulled this off and the lessons in it for all of us.

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

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