What is the Bond of a Community?

We woke up New Year’s Day to the usual morning sounds of a city coming to life.  Cars made their way through the streets, people worked their way to the market for food, and others continued the celebration with a few morning fireworks.

As we walked around the city with Ricardo, we knew this would be the last time for a few years until we would see him again.  We were grateful for having had the opportunity to share such an incredible experience with him, as well as Byron’s family.

Diving deeper into what made these memories possible, I realized that it was the sense of community that was mutually shared.  It isn’t just any community, but one in which there is a bond that has been strengthened over time, and a bond that is felt by the people within and seen by those from without.

To be a part of the bonds of a community it requires shared interests and values, a deep understanding of one another, and people whom are vested in the overall well-being and success of all who are attached in that bond.  In essence, there is a team of people watching out for you, helping you, and genuinely building into you and your growth as an individual.

When this bond is shared, it makes life more meaningful, purposeful, and quite honestly – a helluva lot easier.  It provides the praise that is deserved when reaching your goals, and the support and encouragement when seeking help and asking for answers.  For those that have the benefit of such relationships within a community, it’s easily recognized how much easier life is in that environment.

But what about the person who wants to do it all on their own – the one who society has built to be the driving force behind all of their individual success?  Yes, the person who doesn’t want to be included in a community because they feel they are better served working and being alone, doing what is important only for them.  This type of person is a lone wolf.

What is a Lone Wolf?

The lone wolf is a person who minimizes the amount of interaction with others.  Their success is a direct result of what they have done, and their failures are the result of what others didn’t do for them.  The large project that the lone wolf spearheaded that resulted with a promotion – that was all the lone wolf.  And the project that the lone wolf took control of and failed, well that was because no one else contributed what the lone wolf asked of them.

In the wild, a lone wolf doesn’t live forever.  It might enjoy the freedoms and liberty of making its own decisions for a while.  It can choose where to go, what food to eat, or when to rest.  There is no answering to others, or keeping in mind the best interest of the pack, or the community.  After a while, it becomes dangerous for the lone wolf.  Ganging up with others and hunting down food becomes more difficult.  Its efforts have it scouring day and night using all of its energy.  And when an opportunity is knocking at its door, it is more difficult than ever to take advantage.

No longer is the lone wolf the one doing the hunting, but rather it is being hunted.  It’s only a matter of time and the wolf is now the prey and not the predator.  It will eventually become weak.  It will suffer.  It will not survive.  But the lone wolf’s friends – the ones who are strengthened by the bonds of a pack – are surviving and taking advantage of every opportunity they can.  This is because they made a deliberate choice to remain surrounded by other wolves that have a shared interest in the livelihood of the wolf on each side, and understand that life is easier for the pack when they have that community.

Build Your Community

You make a deliberate choice if you choose to go about life as a lone wolf.  The same is said for those that choose to find themselves bonded in community.  You must without hesitation build into others and have that reciprocated.  In your personal life, you need to surround yourself with like-minded people who truly believe that your life and their life is better served with each other in it.  In your professional career, any individual success you have is the result of the team of people with whom you interact with on a daily basis.

Jim Rohn once made the statement, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”  In pursuit of your personal and professional growth, find those five people you want to model your life after.  Once you have found them, make room for them in your life.  And once they become a part of your interactions, you will begin to strengthen the bonds of a community.

It is important to note that the idea of community doesn’t just show up one day and present itself to you.  Every day you must wake up knowing that you are in a place in which you are building into others and them into you.  If you aren’t able to do this, then you will slowly become a lone wolf.  Increase your chances at having community by putting yourself in a place that presents opportunities to be involved with your passions and surrounded by people who think similarly.

When you find this community, band together like a pack of wolves.  Support one another, challenge one another, and succeed with one another.  Don’t find yourself on the outside looking in wishing you were a part of something bigger.

Spending New Year’s in Guatemala reminded me of the importance of this concept.  No matter where we go, or what we do, we need a community of people who are genuinely vested in us.  This community, this pack of wolves, will be full of people who make life worthwhile.

2 Comments on “Chapter 8: Without the Bonds of Community, You’re a Lone Wolf

  1. Pingback: Inspired, from the Other Side of the Fence | Building United

  2. Pingback: Embracing Adversity, Part Three: Relationships – Embracing Adversity

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