Building Community

Part IV: Individualism vs. Community

Sam Chavez
Sam Chavez

Table of Contents

๐Ÿค“ Bite-Sized Knurd: We close out our series to talk about how building community can be good for you and help solve many of todayโ€™s issues.

Read on for moreโ€ฆ

Over the course of four weeks, we have discussed the origins and history of individualism and where it has led us as a society.

Today, weโ€™re going to talk about the alternative. And in turn, imagine a different future.

What is Community?

The word community is so much more than a noun.

As a verb, it refers to โ€œbeing in communityโ€ with others. It is action-oriented, which illustrates that we are always a part of a bigger whole no matter how much we believe that or not. Being in community is intentional. It reflects the idea that we are here to support one another in good and hard times.

Humans are social creatures. We are always looking for community. You may find it in your local church, as fans of the same sports team, or a group or organization that fits your values.

The Surprising Individual Benefits of Community

The best part of community is that it makes you a better you while we make the planet and society a better world. Seems like a win-win!

  • A Sense of Belonging: our hyper-connected digital world has made us feel more isolated. Having a community makes you feel seen, loved, and a part of something important.
  • Reinforces our Shared Values: when you look at the world as a group, it is much easier to see the shared values that we all have as humans.
  • A Healthier You: rather than spending life competing in the โ€˜rat race,โ€™ community gives us a chance to improve your own mental well-being by feeling a stronger sense of purpose.
  • Support & Safety: this can come in many different forms. Physical safety for yourself and your children, financial support during difficult times, sharing of tasks, etc. No one should suffer alone.
  • Healthier Planet: one shared value is the planet that we live on. A healthier planet means a healthier you with cleaner air.

The Power of Community Will Save Us

โ€œAlone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.โ€ โ€” Helen Keller

In the early stages of WWII, it was very uncertain if the U.S. would get involved in the war or if our lackluster military could actually fight the Nazi army. Many Americans thought it was a European problem. This narrative is often overlooked in our retelling.

Now, the story of WWII is a story of herculean effort by the U.S. Government to transform our economy to war production that beat back Germany from reaching the UK and beyond. FDR mobilized private industry, the U.S. people, and the government. It brought the country together with one goal and helped people feel like they were contributing to something greater than themselves.

As I said last week, Nothing is Permanent.

We can do the same when it comes to the climate crisis. We just need more community believers and fewer individualists at the megaphone. Like the early hours of WWII, things will not last forever.

Community is not about absolving us individuals of our responsibility but asks that we work together to solve life's problems. Each of us can be intentional in building community and watch that intention grow wider than ourselves.

The Good Knurd:

Now's your chance to join in on the action! Thoughtful ways to influence change within yourself and your local community.

  • ๐Ÿค” Thought Starter: What does community look like to you? Where do you find your community? How can you deepen your own personal community?
  • ๐Ÿซ‚ Community: The best way to find human connection is to find it through the things that bring you joy. Love gardening? Join a community garden. It can feel overwhelming to add more to your plate, but being in community can bring you energy. Give it a try.
  • ๐Ÿ“– Read: If youโ€™re looking for more on this topic, a subscriber reached out to recommend the book, โ€œBowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Communityโ€ by Robert Putman. Thank you for the advice!

Thank you to all of you who have reached out directly! I love hearing your perspective and learning about new books and resources. As we close our series on Individualism, I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you liked the series.

If you REALLY enjoyed it, forward this to a few friends and invite them into the journey before we kick off our next series! This is only the beginning.

Next Up

The Loneliness Epidemic
๐Ÿค“ Bite-Sized Knurd: The pandemic didnโ€™t cause it, but loneliness is at historical highs. Recognizing we are in a loneliness epidemic is the first step. Read on for moreโ€ฆ
๐Ÿ—ผ๐Ÿ—ž: Newsletter

Sam Chavez

Sam is a writer, strategist, and curious human. She founded the roots of change agency in 2020. Sam is a queer, white, LatinX activist whoโ€™s passionate about a livable planet & equitable societies.


Navigating heart-first activism & storytelling. We explore the ๐ŸŒฑ roots of our world to support communicators, organizations, and activists ๐Ÿฅต to avoid burnout and ๐Ÿ“š tell empathetic stories that cultivate connections that ๐ŸŒ empower โœŠ๐Ÿฝ social change.

Learn more about the Roots of Change Agency.