What happened to communities? According to a study by the University of Berkeley, communities have devolved into social isolation due to the meaninglessness of social interactions. Psychologists believe that the culprit is modernization.
Only 60 years ago, we used to know and trust our neighbors well enough to let young children play together in the neighborhood without much supervision. We used to have community leaders who would invest in helping the community form healthy marriages and families; our communities would personally involve themselves to help resolve personal difficulties like depression, anxiety, and even marital issues. Our communities were so involved in our lives that they used to offer a social safety net to families with financial problems to help them get back on their feet, and return to contributing to the community. Our communities were so invested in our children, they would even enforce morality; for example, adultery, fatherlessness, and out-of-wedlock births would be shunned to deter community members from giving birth to future criminals and delinquents that ultimately harm the entire community.
Due to how beneficial communities were for us, we used to love and care for our community so much that it used to form an important part of our identity. We used to feel guilty for even minor behaviors like loitering to avoid ruining the beauty of our community. Think about that for a second: when was the last time we saw a clean street? Have young children ever even seen one?
Modernization has made it easier than ever to form new relationships. In the process, it has cheapened relationships to a point where social trust and inter-dependance have become an increasingly rare occurence. Sadly, we've become individualists; we feel more atomized, alienated, and nihilistic than ever because we have abandoned any sense of identity with each other. Think of how selfish and self-centered we've become that many among us don't even care about the problems that affect our children and our people; "it's none of my business" is a typical excuse we tell ourselves, but that's yet another shining example of individualism: "if it doesn't affect me, then I don't care". With that mentality, is it any surprise that no one cares about the fact that our birth rates are too low to replace us?
Think about that for a moment: our people are literally dying off, and all we can tell ourselves is "none of my business". Well, not everyone feels this way, which begs the question: how can we form communities again? We may not have the answer today, but one day, we will. The future existence of our people depends on it.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are not to be misinterpreted as medical, clinical, or any other professional advice. The views expressed are opinions and / or ideas founded on research and clinical experience. These views are meant to provoke awareness and inquiry into various issues, and thus, create an open-minded dialogue, civil discussion, and respectful debate among our readers. Any claims made are subject to change should new studies be conducted that disprove these claims.
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