How can being in a community benefit me?

By Lauren Johnson – Energize Activity Youth Worker

“Alone, we can do so little; together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Over the past year, communities across Lincoln, the nation, and the nations have come together like nothing I’ve ever seen before. From doorstop and garden visits in the freezing cold, for a ten-minute chat about the week, to making meals as an act of compassion to those who have lost loved ones. This year communities everywhere have stepped up their game to love each other. I find it inspiring.

A study by Rachel Frederick (a wellness expert) in 2018 found that there are five benefits to being connected to a community; they include:

  1. Encouragement – When life gets a little hard, we all need people who will remind us of our potential, pick us up and encourage us to keep going.
  2. Support – It’s important that we all have people around us who will stand with us through all of life’s turns and emotions. There’s a high chance that you have something with those you rub shoulders with but don’t connect with often. Perhaps those who pass in the street every day, see at the supermarket, the school gate or the office desk next to you. Reach out to them! Find your similarities and build relationships and support from them.
  3. Challenge – A good community will always challenge you to become a better person. Whether you need a fresh outlook on life, a new skill or hobby, or a support team to help you rise from a dark place. Sometimes we need tough love and raw honesty to show us that the biggest obstacle in life might just be ourselves.
  4. Celebrate – This one is so important! We have to champion each other, and also ourselves when we have worked hard towards something, achieved it, and are proud of it. Words of affirmation is said to be one of the most common ways people best receive love from others, so let’s love each other by celebrating each other.
  5. Gratitude – Perhaps the biggest benefit of a community is the opportunity for you to give back. The self-fulfillment you feel when you give more than you receive is priceless. A community gives you reasons to celebrate the small things in life and people to be thankful for. And we all know we can never have too much gratitude in our lives.

No matter if you’re an introvert or an extrovert, no matter if you’re a business owner or a stay-at-home parent, no matter if you live in a rural Lincoln village or off the high street, you’ll appreciate the benefits of a community (or two) in your life. Those like-minded people can be an amazing gift you didn’t even know you were missing.

What would it look like for us all to be in communities that benefitted our lives so much, that we had to tell others about it; resulting in them maybe joining too? I think it would look like people feeling more whole in themselves and knowing they can come exactly as they are knowing they’re unconditionally loved.

At Acts, we do everything in the community! We work to understand a communities needs, whilst working with those living in it to empower them to meet those needs. We do this through building relationships, empowerment, and encouragement which I think is pretty cool.

What kind of community could you join?

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