The success of a community is vital to the lasting success of any individual within that community. This is something I hold as a core value and I sincerely hope that you do too.
As a product of your community and peers, successful communities will create more successful individuals; and in turn, an individual that holds his own interests and those of his community as being equal, or as close to equal as possible, will create more successful communities.
When I speak of community, I am referring to your locality, the place where you live. Your community is made up of the people in your favourite coffee shop, the teachers educating your children your neighbours and so on. Each member of your community will have an impact, whether directly or indirectly, on your outlook and help you form opinions on society and on how you, as an individual, fit in and should interact with it. They will inform your ideas on how society should be governed, what is acceptable and how it can be improved. So far so obvious, right?
Well the above leads me to a major issue I believe we are facing, and that is the problems caused by the ever expanding scale of our communities brought about by our ability to communicate across vast distances. This problem of scale is affecting every aspect of our lives. In business, the internet is giving companies easy and cheap access to markets that they would have never considered accessible previously. This in turn means that these companies are growing at an unprecedented scale, and their customer bases are immense* this of course erodes the importance of an individual customer. News agencies and charities can bring every tragic disaster to our living rooms, causing us to become increasingly numb to disaster, as an act of self preservation. Your time is important and it is impossible to care about, in a realistic way which motivates us to action, all that is presented to us on a daily basis. But this also must have a trickle down effect on the way in which we perceive those within our own communities which require charity, effect how we run our small to medium businesses and so on.
With such large scale in our everyday lives, it becomes difficult to feel truly connected. We give money to charity but do not see any of the impact which that action had, we help a customer but again see no impact of having solved their problem. Seeing the positive impacts of our actions is essential to continued motivation to perform further actions. To this end, I think it is essential that we find ways to scale down, make things more personal and the effects of good action more visible.
So if we accept, and perhaps you don’t, that we should try to find ways in our lives to try and scale down and make the impact of our own actions more visible, then how can this be achieved?
Well I intend to go into that in my follow up post coming soon.
* read groupon, amazon etc