Isolation engulfed most of us in 2020. No matter where you lived, at some point during the past year you experienced separation from the people who mattered most to you. As the pandemic weakens and the world begins to reopen, the power of community will be experienced in a whole new way as we reconnect with one another. 

We were made for relationships

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explains how crucial other people are to our existence. At the foundation of Maslow’s triangle are basic needs that are essential to life. These include physiological needs, like food, water, warmth, and rest, followed by security and safety needs. The next step on this triangle are our psychological needs, the first of which is our need for others. Our belongingness and love needs are met through intimate relationships and friends. As we continue to cope with languishing, the power of community can help us recover from a year of social distancing and separation. 

We can learn from one another

Our awareness of inequity was heightened like never before in the past year. The division we face as a nation and world has come from racial tensions, political turmoil, gender issues, and other inequities that have grabbed our attention. If we lean into the power of community, we can learn from one another if we begin to listen with fresh ears and speak with a more humble posture. Empathy, understanding, and the power of community can build a bridge to better social wellbeing for all. Collective wisdom is available in this kind of community.  

We can motivate each other

According to the Fogg Behavioral Model, motivation is a wave. It ebbs and flows over the course of the day, weeks, and months. Recognizing this natural human experience can help us ride this wave more effectively and tap into others when we need a motivation boost. Since belonging is a key motivator, the power of community can elevate our motivation when it might otherwise be low. As we recover from this season of languishing and move closer toward thriving, we can spur one another in places we’re stuck. Motivation and accountability are equally effective at moving us forward. 

We improve our holistic wellbeing

Among the eight dimensions of wellbeing is social wellbeing. Overall wellbeing, however, relies on the interaction of all eight areas for holistic health. When we give attention to our physical, environmental, emotional, spiritual, financial, educational, and occupational wellbeing, we improve our social wellbeing, too. We tap into the power of community by engaging in community service, faith congregations, and educational classes. These engagements help us move closer to holistic wellbeing so that we can handle challenges that come our way. 

The power of community can benefit us individually and corporately as we reintroduce ourselves to life as it is today and as it continues to evolve. Reminding ourselves that we were made for relationships and committing to learning from one another and motivating each other will help us improve our holistic wellbeing as we move from surviving to thriving.