People are social creatures. From our birth we crave connection and closeness with each other. Throughout our lives we connect with other people in small groups. Some of these groupings last for only a brief time, others are much longer lasting. In short, we form herds and can be part of a number of herds.
Although herds can be large or small Australian social commentator and researcher Hugh Mackay in The Art of Belonging: It’s not where you live, it’s how you live tells us that the most optimal size herd comprises 5 to 8 members. This size provides us with the richness and variety of interactions and experiences to grow as people, to develop skills and builds us into psychologically competent individuals. it is through these interactions that we develop our sense of belonging.
Our herds can be varied and multiple ranging from family, friends, work colleagues, social groups, clubs, sporting groups, arts groups, community groups, faith based groups. The important thing is that we join herds and that these various herds form our communities.
Through this blog I want to explore what it means to be part of the herd and how we can grow great communities based on our interactions with each other, the trust and social capital developed from these interactions and how when we focus on the strengths our herds and ourselves have then we build safe, strong and vibrant communities.