Are You Missing Community?

I lived in China as a TEFOL instructor at a Chinese boarding school for a year when I was still in college. Among all the cultural differences I observed, I couldn’t help but notice how different the Chinese students who lived on the campus related to each other compared to American students I had observed before.

In the class, no one was ever left out of activities. Even if it was obvious certain students didn’t get along, it was never an option to not include everyone in activities. Being part of the group was a given for them.

In our Western culture, this is not so.

Everyone has to earn their place in the group, which can be exhausting. There is always the chance that you will mess up badly enough that you will be kicked out and rejected. This undercurrent of fear keeps people from being completely authentic with each other also.

Part of this is due to our modern society with its continuous motion. In the past, most people lived their entire lives in the same community. They often had to rely upon one another just to survive. This forced people to learn to get along with each other, even those they really didn’t like. Everyone knew the group was too important to sacrifice to petty differences. They truly saw that they needed each other.

Read the rest here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s