Community is often undervalued as a resource and a commodity. You could trace this back to education or upbringing, but we are taught diverging dynamics. We are taught to share because it’s nice, but there are only some things that we can share. We are taught that no man is an island, but we have to do things on our own. We are taught that it’s great to have a group of people upon whom to depend but the one who remains an individual will receive the greatest rewards. Our social nature tells us to look for the tribes and others who are like us, but there are those who would consider that a weakness. The communities that we form as a result become awkward archetypes of themselves.
But, we find those tribes. We find those groups of people with whom we can get along. They share a common interest, be it racing cars, cross stitch or losing weight. The like minded people band together because they can’t help it. It is within our nature as humans to compare and contrast ourselves with others. And, as such, we’re looking for people who are like us in some aspect of our lives. There are clubs and groups which have formed for everything under the sun, with more rising every single day. The communities that they represent are beautiful, because they reassure individuals that they are not alone.
When that community is found, it is a revelation. A ray of sunlight shines in upon the psyche, alleviating all of the fears and trepidation. The knowledge that you are NOT alone. The knowledge that there are others who are like you, at least in some aspect. There’s finally someone with whom to talk, there’s finally someone who understands the sheer visceral nature of our needs and desires. It’s not like those people weren’t there all along, but now they’ve been identified. It’s akin to the moment that someone finds the religion that they wish to join.
If you are looking for a community of people who are committed to weight loss, fitness, general well being, and community, take a look at Sparkpeople. This is a group of individuals from all walks of life who want to lose weight. There are hundreds of thousands of people, participating every single day in the forums, creating blog posts, and talking with one another about the trials and tribulations of being overweight. There are charts for the stats geeks. There are weight loss plans. There are motivational stories which reassure you that you are able to make that change. The site itself is not run to sell a product, it’s run to help people.