What is the most important aspect of community?
Today the notion of community has changed substantially.
Whilst traditionally community referred merely to an actual community as in residents of a section of a suburb, or an entire small suburb, or even a small town itself, and yes, to a degree that still exists, but the term ‘community’ has become more of a ‘buzz word’ used to smaller sub-groups of people within society.
For example, people now refer to members of a gym as a community. Or a group of yoga enthusiasts may be referred to as a community. It could even be the people in an apartment building. More recently I overheard somebody within our office refer to community, in the context that some staff are in a position of knowing the staff of other small businesses in the area.
For me, the idea of community refers to a small-to-medium group of people from all different walks of life, coming together. I think that community has been lost. People don’t really interact with others any more. Everybody is too preoccupied with whatever is happening on their phone screens.
As an example, let’s use my apartment building – it’s only four stories, but there are at least 40 apartments in it. Now, we don’t really see anybody, unless we cross paths with them in the lift, or in the carpark. We don’t know our neighbours… I do however know that the people in Apartment 11 have a couple of kids who enjoy banging on the walls and running up and down the building hallways screaming… so, naturally, I’m not really too keen on meeting them, otherwise I could find myself going all Michael Jackson on those kids and dangling them over the balcony so that hopefully they might calm the fuck down.
But that’s it. We don’t know any of the other tenants in the building.
The people on the other side of us seem to have just up and left. I saw a note on their door from the real estate agent saying the locks had been changed because they had disappeared and not paid their rent. If they want their stuff they have to contact the office. This was also the same couple that I had reported to the RSPCA a couple of times over concerns of animal cruelty. Again, not really the type of people I have any interest in getting to know.
Oh, and then there’s fucking Nancy who (we think) lives on level 3 or 4… and has had people screaming out from the apartment in the middle of the night, telling her to wake up and let them in. That’s gone down a real treat with some of the other tenants. Every time I see her I just feel so much rage, because she just doesn’t give a fuck.
Whilst I like the concept of having a small community within the building, it’s just not really that feasible – mainly because we’re so clearly surrounded by duds. Yeah, so I guess I like the idea of it, just not the people in it.