Connecting to my world
Humans have a need to connect with one another. We’re a social species, and we need each other to survive and grow.
We don’t develop in a bubble, we learn and grow and become ourselves in connection to others and with our environment. Without others, there is no us.
And feeling connected feels good. Feeling part of something feels good. A sense of belonging and acceptance in a group is an amazing feeling.
Connect with your communities
We are part of many different groups and networks and are connected to the world in all sorts of ways and through many different communities.
A community is a group of people with something in common. This could be shared neighbourhood, country, culture, interests, faith, environment, hobbies, and many more.
What are your connections? What communities are you part of?
Step 1: Write your name – or even better, draw a representation of yourself – in the middle of a page.
Step 2: Write all the communities you feel part of – big, small, on and offline, local and global… and connect them to you in the middle.
Step 3: Write 1 word that you associate with each of the communities. For example, fun, next to gaming community; or safety next to family – whatever you really feel about that community.
These communities are also interconnected. What happens somewhere in one part of your network can affect you, and what you do can make an impact somewhere else. This can be with people close to you, but also further away, as they are part of the same network.
Recognising that you are part of an interconnected network can help you understand some of the different forces and influences on your life; and why it’s sometimes hard to feel in control.
Step 4: Start drawing connections between things. It doesn’t need to be neat, just draw lines across the page
Some big questions
Below are a few big questions. Some may come easily to you, and some can be a lifetimes work! But they are important to think about, and come back to regularly.
– What does ‘community’ mean to you?
– What do you really feel a part of?
– What gives you a feeling of belonging? What is it specifically about those communities that gives a sense of belonging?
– Who do I accept and not accept as part of my communities, and why?
– How can I be a part of strengthening communities, even just in my everyday actions? (E.g. actively challenging stereotypes and prejudice)
Strengthening and growing our connections and relationships is not just good for us, it’s good for everyone.