Fostering independence is important in both young people and in adults, it is a buzzword we often hear, and is written on school reports and CVs. It is important to a certain extent, but it has become too prominent.
Community, is far more important, children are feeling alone in the midst of the millions of voices online, adults are feeling isolated in the drive for a perfect instagram life, the elderly are not chatting on front steps or at the local fruit shop but sitting alone. We often hear people commenting they ‘don’t want to be a bother’ or ‘don’t want to be a burden’. The saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is true, not just for the child to have many different influences, wisdom and support but also for the parents to have that same support, and to know that they are not the only ones finding the sleepless nights hard, in fact we all need a village, all the way through life! Connections are so important.
The ability to ask for help, for support, and even ability to be dependent is an important life skill also. No relationship can exist when both parties are unable to take a risk and have some emotional dependence on each other. We are not able to be skilled in all areas or to be strong at all times and friends and family can help with this.
We are pack animals and social creatures, for many years our roles have been divided, even back to hunter/ gatherer times, then we rely on each other to share our gains. We are social creatures meant to communicate and touch. Going without contact, even just a hand shake or sitting side by side can seem to physically hurt, being touch starved is a real thing.
The community spirit has been lost in recent times but we are seeing a spark of it again, the recent political climate has encouraged people to join together, we are seeing initiatives to help parents, teenagers and the elderly find human contact and reassurance they are not alone. Our modern world is fantastic, the internet can spark incredible initiatives and connections but we need to mix that with the idea of our village, or our tribe, making real human connections and accepting that it is very healthy and necessary to ask for help and support. Invest in your people.