What Does Community Mean to You?

We all create our own community as we go through life. It can become the wind beneath our wings, or the deep roots that anchor us safely in our home. Here’s what Mindful readers shared about the many vibrant meanings of community.

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Do you have a community where you feel you belong?

What community have you have felt most at home in? 

“MY NEIGHBORHOOD is home to me. My neighbors are like family.”

“MY MARATHON TRAINING GROUP. We cheered each other on—the competition was only with our- selves. We brought our own meaning to running and races. Anyone could be a mentor, bringing in their experiences to help others. Also, we had fun!”

“AT MY JOB, because we all work hard at a difficult job—we form bonds.”

“MY RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY, not due to the religion as much as the acceptance.”

“I am new to where I live, so not yet as connected as I’d like to be, but my town is full of vibrant, engaged, intelligent, compassionate people! I am really looking forward to a future of community here.”

“Most often it is a SMALL COMMUNITY, maybe six to 10 people. It’s just more intimate and real.”

“My community of FELLOW MUSICIANS and fans is my haven. There’s a little escapism, and a good deal of support and diversity bind us.”

“AS A CHILD, with friends.”

“My supportive community of fellow MUSICIANS AND MUSIC FANS is my haven.”

“My group of INVASIVE SPECIES MONITORS. Many educated activists with diverse back- grounds and interests, learning and working together to protect our ecosystem.”

Do you prefer online or face-to-face communities?

Most (69%) lean toward face-to- face relationships, versus 3% who prefer virtual ones. Another 17% like them equally, and 11% say their in-person and online communities are with the same people.

What are the ties that bind your community together?

For 14% of respon- dents, people in their communities bond over shared ETHNICITY.

A steep 70% are linked by BELIEFS.

In the middle: shared GOALS OR PROJECTS (55%), HOBBIES (54%), PROXIMITY (50%), and IDENTITY (45%).

Familial ties count for 41%, while23% say their circles JUST GET ALONG WELL, and don’t have much in common.

Are there traditions or rituals in your community that bring people together?

What makes your community resilient?

  • “A strong sense of commitment and dedication.”
  • “When we check in with one another.”
  • “Getting through things, being honest, caring about each other.”
  • “Standing up to all the negative things going on around us!”
  • “We’re sensitive to others’ feelings.”
  • “A quality of non-competitiveness.”
  • “Being inclusive of all ages and all interests.”
  • “Holding space for each other with respect and support.”
  • “Awareness, mindfulness, and communication.”

be part of our next survey!

February’s question: When your inner critic is loud, what is it usually saying to you?

Send an email to [email protected] and let us know your answer. Your response could appear on this page.