“Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.”
One of the most enduring aspects of the study of history, anthropology, and society is the need for humans to come together, to form a community. Philosophers all over the world and all throughout time have noted this tendency for people to embrace each other – from units like families all the way to large societies, with interconnected networks and complex social paradigms. With the Internet and the dawn of the modern age, the way we interact has never been easier to build communities. But as educator Robert M. Hutchins said, a world community and world communication cannot just be limited to extensive reach of software. “It means common understanding,” he said. “A common tradition, common ideas, and common ideals.” People can only come together when they share a common sense of purpose, hope, and unity to form a great community together. A community cannot exist without these, tying it together.
So what is a community? We know what it needs, we know what feeds it. We know author Morgan Scott Peck said community has three essential ingredients: inclusivity, commitment, and consensus. We know Ferdinand Tonnies postulated the concepts of Community and Society. We know the earth is a community, the internet is a community, life is a community – but what is a community? What is a society? I have written before on this very blog about the central importance people bring to a community – their ideas, their beliefs, their commitments and hopes and dreams. Community builds these together, embracing the best and strongest parts of collaborations from people the world over, to connect and change, building a better future.
People make that community – people change the world. People like Aristotle and philosophers change it, people like scientists and politicians change it. Educators who impart the collective wisdom of generations past to us, inventors who thrust the world into the future, historians who look into our past to find our future, leaders who we seek to find stability in troubled times, and the people all change the world. The common citizen with his common sense of purpose, hope, and unity will change the world. He can be anyone who believes in the capacity of humanity to work together. He can be anyone who knows the importance of dreams and the importance of action. He can be me, or you. And people like me, or you, can come together in a common unity of our common traditions, ideas, and ideals, to change the world.
At least, that’s our dream here at OurPangea.