What is a Community

The community is dying, research completed around this in the UK shows without a doubt the community is not as important to people as it used to be. The elderly and vulnerable are people that still rely on the support of the neighbours for company and errands. Unfortunately, they no longer seem to receive the neighbourly support that once was on offer. These People take great comfort in knowing they live in a street or close or a neighbourhood. Even if they cannot not get out of the house, they take comfort in listening and watching the world come and go through the window. There is much a community can offer whether it involves you directly or just live in it. Age UK and various other charities run voluntary support befriending schemes for this very purpose.

Families relocate much frequently, and households are much busier now. The woman has a job or indeed a career; she is no longer caught at home preparing dinner or taking coffee mornings. The children have after-school activities they no longer just park in front of the tv after school. The corner shop at the end of your street, which was formerly the hub of all the streets gossip and goings on, has now gone. Super markets are miles away and the female has her own car, so happening upon your neighbours daily  no longer transpires.. People would cue at the pay phone and chitchat and catch up. The community way of life is disappearing. Perhaps this is because of the changing of the times. Life has become so hectic, so fast that no one has the time for the familiar support of the community.

A community is a place that belongs in a society. We base society on many communities. A community makes one feel safe it brings comfort and a belonging. We all wish to belong and be part of something, be that a family, social group, work or your community. Communities bring support and acknowledgment they bring interaction, dissipating fear of loneliness, isolation and depression. There are many widowed, disabled or perhaps just alone. Isolation is not good for anyone, even if you enjoy it, this does not make it healthy for you. A community is essential for our well being.

Communities uphold each other in difficult times they provide support, they shop for the elderly neighbour or offer to take care of the kids when no6 is going on a night shift. They pull together during times of experienced hardship and consolidate the problems where possible to work it out as a community. Floods, pandemic, drought, flue, wildfires and war. We all pull together.

Communities can last a lifetime for generation after generation. Entire families can have shared the same home or be in a graveyard. We take immense pride in knowing your great grandfather’s name is on the church memorial cross. Communities carry memories, stories and reverence for bygone eras and lives. They still uphold traditional values today as they were back in our grandparents’ day. Respect toward your community , especially the elderly is all part of your upbringing.

We place Plaques on church walls, benches and terraces as memorials or in honour of those we love in our community. We name streets after individuals and donations are made to the community by those that have lived there all their lives. Church roofs become replaced by fundraising and we modernise the former Red Recs for the local children and l cricket club. Without communities there would be a notable loss of growing and the learning of the values and respect for others.  You learn about your environment, to appreciate what you have and where you come from. We find employment in communities, apprenticeships with small industries along with the history of the area and the identifies of those from bygone generations.

We can reduce prejudice issues with communities. During the 50s we had an influx of migrants from India and Africa Pakistan. They arrived supported by our government to simulate into our culture and our communities. They shared our english streets and council estates in some of our oldest cities, Where there had formerly being racist and cultural tension it was by most, replaced with humility, enlightenment and acceptance. So communities produce many constructive aspects into our lives both now and in the past.

Support of a community can be emotional and practical you may share a common ground or you may both have something each other needs. Either way, we are connecting to each other and interacting, which is healthy.

The community takes place in all fashions and sizes it can be a parish, religion, hobbies, being a mother for the first time or just being a parent, cultural, scholar, political or even medical. You leave communities all the time and move into different communities all the time. Specially if you move around. Even your local pub is a community where you fit in and belong to and become known by the locals residents. 

Community and assimilation is now an issue in so much as many of the migrants appear not communicate or won’t learn to talk english. During the 50s and 60s many migrants came from the common wealth and many of them had fought in the war alongside the British troops having India. So it would stand to reason that many of them spoke english before they arrived. Sadly, this is not the case with many of the EU migrants today. 
This has established tension within the communities. The restriction has led to assimilation problems. To have and sustain a civilised population, we require the ability to understand one another to be able to communicate. Those that chose to settle in our communities  need to at least resemble effort to respect our culture and societies by learning our language and becoming part of our community.

During the World Wars I & II, community played a tremendous part of endurance and encouragement. Without the support of your neighbours’ and the people, effectively there would have been a great deal more despair felt than already being inflicted. Entire streets bombed and wiped out in one hit. Rationing of food caused a way of life for the household to become very hard. There was an understanding a feeling of security and trust. The kids played in the street and they left doors unlocked. Woman gossiped as they scrubbed the front door step.  Bowls of sugar borrowed and lent they looked out for each other in the street. This was community in extreme times, and though they endured and survived with dignity, pride and family values because of community.

The wartime community kept plenty of the country afloat, there was a great sense of hope. They broached even the class system, that and other restraints. The 1942 Beveridge report demonstrated this. The war served as a means of propelling Britain forward from social discrimination. After the war ended, Britain could not return to the pre-war social conditions.

Post-war Britain under went a substantial housing problem, whole streets in all the major cities and ports were desegregated by the bombing during the air raides. Hundreds of communities in the city’s were wiped out over night, the city councils had what was left standing bulldozed down.
Tower blocks were built and communities responded, but after many decades of family history many never became reconciled. Although new housing was definitely a necessity, it did break down the pre war street working class community alienating many widows and single mothers from their family and friends.  The old terraced houses had no inside plumbing or latrine. They were by, today’s standards, inhabitable. But they were family homes and they bore memories, history as did the street the homes were in.

Sadly, the tower block contributed to the end of those communities along with that form of living. Along with the corner shop the resident estate pubs and the local butcher. Today we recognize the tower block in the inner cities as a way of living,a home.  The people that live in these neighborhoods do not know any other. They subsequently established game zones, parks playground which helped rejuvenate the community spirit.  At least with the mums and children of the community anyway. Maybe not the elderly, mentally ill or disabled.

There is the world of the digital community this world like many has its pro and cons, on one hand it brings people together it stops interaction and breaks down communication with in families and communities. There are many that do not have internet, they can’t afford it, or are of an age that can not understand it. They often isolate the elderly of the community from this world and the grandkids who would rather be on the internet than with Nan. Some countries censor the computer world this is especially prevalent in countries that have to vote on line option and are not actually democracies at all. These people have difficulty building communities as it controls them.

It is diaspora and dispersed communities’ that benefit the most from online communication. The digital world is good for connecting to other countries and communities build for the digital world. Such as Facebook and Twitter. It is good for industry and sales and teaching and sharing information. It is not so good for building bridges and maintaining long-distance relationships that are current. Even using face time is not the same as one-to-one contact. People need to have human contact and feel the other or another person. Talking on a screen or phone just feels the cracks of loneliness on the actual hole.

In conclusion, one can safely say that wherever you are and whatever the circumstance of your living establishment, there will always be a community. Even the homeless and addicts have their communities.

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