Community is a group of individuals connected to each other by one or more attribute(s). The element that links them together is at the core, and is the essence of the group. Just as denoted by the root and the suffix of the word (common-unity), a certain segment of the population is united by a familiar thread. In the field of Public Health, we see community as a group of folks that are at risk of being infected or affected by certain types of diseases based on their demographic, social, and economic status. A community is a familiar thread used to bring people together to advocate and support each other in the fight to overcome those threats. As human beings, we need a sense of belonging, and that sense of belonging is what connects us to the many relationships we develop. Communities are also rich in resources, that is where their collective aspect comes into play. We are all members of many communities (family, work, neighborhood, etc.), and we constantly move in and out of them, depending on the situation. Community is where we find comfort in difficult times. When things are not going well in one community, we have the option to move to another. Our community is where one finds the balance between physical and mental fitness.
So, why is community important? Because community saves us from the isolation and alienation we fear. Because in the real world people have no choice. Because community is about finding each other and a place we can call home. But we are also compelled to build community not only because we are survivors in an existing world order but because we bring differences to a society that erases our differences. By dealing with differences we confront the question of the social and economic foundations of our society. By building community we put some order in the fragmented world.
“Together we can.”