ReadersMagnet Review tackles the importance of finding solidarity in the community, especially in these troubled times.

The last year certainly caught us by surprise. The pandemic put the whole planet at a standstill, and a year after Covid-19 hit us, the world is never the same. Many things have changed, and most of us were forced to stay at home. The travel ban and other restrictions prevented some families and friends from seeing each other. As of this writing, many are still longing to come home and be reunited with their families. The first few months during the lockdown gave everyone the feeling of being disconnected, not only from families and friends but also from society and from our communities. Many fell into depression and anxiety. It was during those moments that we truly realize the value of support systems. Isolation made us realized the old saying that ‘no man is an island.’

While modern technologies such as smartphones and the Internet has allowed many to reach out to their loved ones, continue doing work, and go about their daily routines, it can never replace the feeling of being out there in the neighborhoods and into communities. Now that things are easing up a bit, there is a great need for us to catch up and find solidarity in our small communities. The battle is not yet won, and we need support systems if we are to move forward into this so-called new normal.

Communities: Source of Inspiration and Solidarity

The community is one of the basic units of any society, next to family. Since prehistoric times, our ancestors relied on the communal way of life in order to hunt and survive. Fast forward to the future, today’s communities have greatly evolved. They are no longer defined by tribes, villages, or proximity. Today, there are many kinds of communities, and they are also defined by their interests, politics, philosophy, and goals. Aside from their economic and political purpose, communities are sources of inspiration, platform self-expression, and a venue to connect with others. One example of a modern community that is about economic goals and became a bond among its members is the one featured in Carol Wilson-Mack’s Patchwork: Conversations between Generations. In her book, Wilson-Mack tells us of a community of women living in rural living in rural Bamberg, South Carolina, from 1939 to 1959. These god-centered women were quilters. Quilting allowed them to provide for their families. This activity evolved into a community that provided them a livelihood and a platform where they can share their experiences and express themselves. Because the community was composed of women from different generations, members also learn many things from other women younger or older. Patchwork encourages to find a way by Carol to bridge the gap between generations. This amazing development sets a prime example of a superb support system that we can always emulate in today’s societies. Through their bond and practice of exchanging stories, wisdom and inspiration are also shared. This is what solidarity is all about. 

Thoughts on Building Communities at This Time

Now more than ever, we need to find solidarity and a solid support system aside from our families. Currently, there are still restrictions, and gatherings may not be a wise idea for now. However, we can always lay the foundations of building communities, especially creative ones, remotely for now. We can take a page or two from Carol Wilson-Mack’s Patchworks. Communities can start by exchanging ideas, sharing stories, and uniting for a common interest, be it economic, political, artistic, or humanitarian. There are also existing communities that we can check or join later on. What is important is for us to be connected with others despite the challenges that are ahead of us. This pandemic may have brought many obstacles and limitations, but it has also presented several opportunities for us. And one of them is the opportunity to genuinely reconnect with one another- with our families, friends, neighbors, and of course, communities.