Sometimes we think feel okay being along.

It seems like we are fine by ourselves.

We can be very self-contained.

And as long as we have our basic needs met, we don't need others.

Yet as we live this way longer and longer, something begins to shift.

We start to have a yearning for something different.

As much as we are okay being along, we start to desire being with others.

We want to be in another person's presence.

Physical contact become a craving.

Even just hearing another person's real voice in the room means so much to us.

It is not because we are incapable of being by ourselves.

This happens because by our very nature we are social creatures.

We are pack animals.

We thirst for companionship.

This is why even the most independent of us still desire to be with others.

It is inherent in our nature.

So much so that our longevity is tied to how connected we feel later in life.

The more people there are around us who actually know us and talk to us, the more we feel wanted, needed, and seen.

There is something that being part of a community gives us that we do not get any other way.

Not just a sense of belonging.

More than a feeling of protection.

It is our innate desire to connect and feel another person's presence.

The warmth of their hand in ours.

The twinkle in their eye when they laugh.

We all desire it.

On a very fundamental level.

That's why tribes were created.

It is why we so easily identify as part of an ethnic group, or a country.

There's some sense of being part of a greater whole.

Without it we feel something is missing.

Yet sometimes that desire can be used against us or abused by those in power.

The herd is not always right.

Yet is feels better to be in the herd than apart from it.

Because it is not about independence but interdependence.

For we all feel that not only are we all connected, we thrive or struggle as a group.

Societies are built up and fall apart because of that connection or the breaking of that connection.

The key is to recognize that innate desire, yet be judicious in how we feed it.

Being mindful and considerate of the community and our place in it can help us to know when it is the right community for us.

What communities do you identify with?

Have you connected with the others in that community lately?

~ Sam Liebowitz, The Conscious Consultant