The Need for Community

This week I was struck twice by how much people are looking for community. The first time was last Sunday, when I read the New York Times article “Honey, Don’t Bother Mommy. I’m Too Busy Building My Brand.” I found myself trying to make sense of the number of hits people get by writing about a run in their stocking, or their kid’s spilling food all over himself. But the truth is, there is something in the air, a deep need for connection, that makes people want to know that someone out there is going through the same thing they are. My question is, “What is going on that makes everyone think they are the only one, or that what they are doing is strange?” Don’t most of us know that if we are doing something, it’s probably normal?

My second surprise was going to a charity knitting evening sponsored by a work/family balance life coach here on the Upper West Side. Knitting for charity? I was sure I’d be the only one to show up. But there were five other women there! Sitting with the group was lovely. I was reminded of being in the Hamptons on a rainy Saturday years ago, doing a puzzle with a friend and chatting. The puzzle work was just enough to keep our minds busy, so that we could just be together and talk. It is such a sweet and simple memory, yet it was so powerful.

Is it that our To Do lists keep us engaged in activities that separate us from one another? Is it that we don’t put enough importance on connection? Is it that we are so pushed to conforming to fit the corporate workplace, that we can’t be ourselves? This entry has more questions than answers. But I do believe that we need to work harder to put ourselves in situations where we can be ourselves, feel supported, and connect on a deeper level.

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