I attended a moving and poignant Remembrance Sunday event in Liverpool today, exactly 100 years since the end of the Great War.
As the huge crowd fell silent for two minutes of reflection, and millons of poppies descended from above, I, along with everyone else, remembered the sacrifice made by so many so people like me and you are free to choose our own path.
In these moments of complete stillness, with thousands of people joining together in unity, it also struck me how the concept of community is so integral to the happiness of the individual and to society as a whole.
We live in strange times.
With the advent of the internet, and in particular social media, we have more opportunity than ever to build online communities, and to harness the power of the internet to develop positive communities in the offline world.
And yet, existing side by side with our communities is a growing sense of tribalism. A tribalism that narrows minds, encourages groupthink and enables hatred, and stunts respectful and effective debate.
This is neither useful nor nourishing to the person or society.
Individual responsibility, no matter how difficult it may be to undertake, entails an embracing of alternative views, an examination of one’s own ego and consciousness and a willingness to challenge pre-existing ideals, philosophies and positions, no matter how well established they may be.
It is in this willingness to seriously reflect, improve, reach out and challenge ourselves that we develop as better people and, therefore, communities.
Tribalism, though, is deep rooted in all of us. The need to belong to a group and to conform and ‘be right’ is a strong instinct that cannot be denied. However, it takes a certain state of consciousness to recognise and be aware of this and to ensure that our ability to develop high functioning communities that help and nurture those in them isn’t compromised.
This brings me to Facebook and its ability to bring out people’s innate sense of community AND tribalism.
Personally, I am naturally drawn to open discussions and positivity, commodities which I so often see lacking in Facebook echo chambers filled with spite, venom, narcissism and self-righteousness. In other words, tribalism at its worst.
I had completely given up on Facebook, worn down by what I saw as too much negativity and general pessimism.
That was until I began my journey with Six Figure Mentors…
In joining the SFM I got to join four Facebook groups, all of which bring out the best in their members. They encourage, inspire, embolden, console and, most importantly, treasure individualism and difference. In other words they offer an amazing community that I can learn from and contribute to at any time.
This amazing community doesn’t only exist on Facebook either. As an SFM member you get to attend webinars every day, you have your own personal consultant who is with you every step of the way, and a customer support team available to help with any questions or issues.
It’s a community that has impressed and motivated me, given me immense value and restored lost faith. Not only do I feel I am growing as a person but I am enjoying contributing to the journey of others treading the same path.
A path to true fulfilment.
So, back to this morning. As the poppies floated on the breeze and fell on to the vast crowd, and the silence was punctuated only by the mournful sound of the seagulls overhead, that insight into the importance of community came to me.
For those few minutes, I was part of a group of individuals that wanted to understand each other, that wanted to reflect and commemorate together and that wanted to feel an uplifting sense of hope together.