Following a recent article in the Herald here in Mukilteo about the erosion of community, I wanted to back that up with a blog post about why community is so important, both here in Mukilteo, Seattle and across the nation. In order to gain a better insight into this I spoke with local business guru Peter Zieve, founder of Electroimpact and a man who through his local sports programs, does great things for the local community. The idea that communities aren’t what they once were will not come as news to anyone as these are the times in which we live, but why are communities so important?
There is no secret that the majority of areas which have tightly knit communities have low crime rates and this is something that many areas could learn from. The crime is lower in these areas because there is less need thanks to the community rallying around, there is also more respect for one another which eliminates crimes within the community and a happier group of people are far less likely to commit crimes in the first place. Politics will suggest that crime rates decrease by putting more police on the streets and handing out heavier sentences but the truth is that the solution lies in the heart of the community.
Those living in a community where they trust and depend upon their neighbors are infintley more relaxed and less stressed than those who do not belong to part of a community. Let’s say that you need someone to look after the kids at short notice, or you need a ride, or you are looking for a job, or perhaps even you are trying to start your own business. In all of these examples being part of a community will help you out and not being part of a community will leave you far more stressed.
We have a huge problem in this country with our attitudes towards race and minorities and whilst some believe that this is as a result of insular communities, it is in fact the opposite. Communities rally around the community and the people within it, regardless of whether they are black, white or purple. We can see this in many housing projects where a community has been forced together, where there are groups of latinos, blacks and whites who have absolutely no issues with each other. This goes beyond race to the LGBT community as well. When we are all comfortable with the community that we are in there is far less prejudice and much more support towards every member of that community.
We can change the world by starting one community at a time and in these uncertain times, perhaps it is time that we all did our bit to bring back that sense of community that we have all lost.