Community is important. It unites people and allows them to be part of something greater than themselves. It’s possible to be part of more than one community. Examples of communities you may be a part of include your family, people you work with, people you exercise with, people you worship with, and people who share similar interests with you.
Note that not all communities contain similar people. Just because you are related to someone, work with someone, etc. doesn’t mean there isn’t diversity in some or all of your communities. This is a positive because diversity allows you to experience differences and still come together.
Other communities may include similar people. This isn’t necessarily a positive or a negative. In a work community, it may mean someone who has your same role, but has more experience and can be a mentor to you. If a community only serves as an echo chamber where everyone agrees, you should look to add diversity and different perspectives.
I recently read that those amazing Redwoods in northern California have created thick forests because they are a community relying on and supporting each other. Redwoods often have shallow roots a few feet deep, but those roots spread out up to 100 feet. By spreading out, the roots fuse with those from other Redwoods, which provides strength for many trees against the, sometimes harsh, forces of nature. This results in the thick groves of Redwoods that stand tall and strong despite their shallow roots.
A strong community is like those Redwoods. Within such a group, people support one another. In a community of people support is provided by the transfer of knowledge, providing beneficial connections or inspiration, providing resources, or just being there for others. Through these actions, the group is stronger than a single individual and the journey is much more enjoyable.
As always, this post and others can be found on my blog, Business Law Guy.
About the Author: Neal Bookspan is a partner at the Phoenix, Arizona law firm of Jaburg Wilk. He assists clients with business issues, commercial litigation, workouts, and bankruptcy litigation. Neal can be reached at 602.248.1000.