“All what we have achieved has required the help of others. Thus, it is about time to start thinking beyond our individuality. Let’s think community”.
As a Social-Community Psychologist, I see learning opportunities from what we are experiencing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Firstly, I see with enthusiasm the possibility to transcend the individuality to create collaborative societies based on capturing the needs of others hence generating mutual help among humans, beyond economics. In this scenario, solidarity appears as a natural way of behaving where all can benefit from.
We have seen the decline of the community, as a consequence of the urbanization and industrialization processes, the neoliberalism, and technology. The slap worldwide from Covid-19 forces us to recognize that we are not isolated islands in the ocean. It is the opposite, we all belong to the planet and all of us share similar needs, fears, and desires. Thus, a second learning is to rebuild the ‘sense of community’. This involves the sense of belonging to a major collective while you feel part of a network of relationships of mutual support which, in turn, allows us to trust each other. The enforced isolation can enable us to value social relationships, to grow and feel a sense of well-being. Water these relationships if you want them to grow and flourish.
Finally, I see the individuals of the community responsible for their social process and social transformation, beyond the decisions taken by power groups. This gives rise to another key concept provided by Community Psychology: the popular ‘empowerment’ which means to improve the capacity to control your own life. Moreover, if you are thinking to benefit others when you self-isolate before the political authorities give the order, then you are transforming the society with your own decision and action. This is the third learning.
When I work as a coach, I am well aware of my clients’ personal power and the power that they have to transform the social environment. From the work we do together, my clients become aware of the impact they have on themselves and their surroundings. Only by doing this, clients feel a powerful impact in their inner and outer worlds.