Saturday, November 24, 2018

Hardwired for Community

I just read Sebastian Junger's Tribe. I had a little problem with the many illustrations from the military. However the book highlights the basic human instinct for community. He describes our current society's loss of community.
Junger cites our evolutionary adaptation to tribal living. Tribes gathered because the prehistoric world was terribly inhospitable. A single individual could hardly survive in that world. People come together to share life together, to support one another, to need others and to be needed by them. We are evolved to cooperate and support one another.
Our current society tends to isolate us into individuals and this isolation is in deep conflict with our fundamental sense of well-being.
The beauty and the tragedy of the modern world is that it eliminates many situations that require people to demonstrate a commitment to the collective good.
Religious communities tap into this deep human need and help us to live more healthy and well adjusted lives. Community is also a challenge - it demands that we face the consequences of our choices - both good and bad.
Much of this book's message resonates with my own experience of community which has been such a blessing as well as a challenge to personal growth over the years.

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