“People are the worst.” “I don’t want to deal with humans.” “I’m so sick of people.”
You’ve probably heard a phrase like this come out of someone else’s mouth at one point or another. Perhaps you’ve thought like this yourself. Obviously it’s said flippantly. Very few people genuinely feel this way at their cores. We’re just frustrated with the reality that other people are usually the reason why the world doesn’t work the way we feel it should. Not all of that frustration is bad. It’s certainly good to be upset by criminal activity or derelict behavior. But when we’re faced with people who move more slowly than we’d like, do things a different way than we do, or interfere with our personal environments, how do we respond?
As I stated in a previous post, I’m trying to improve my ability to see other people as God’s image-bearers. Several days ago, I was reflecting on my efforts in this area and thought about the importance of community. Specifically, this question came to mind:
What in life would matter if the humanity was reduced to a count of 1?
Now before you conjure up images of Armageddon, I only ask this in a practical sense with a few follow up questions. If there was only one person on the earth what would be important and what would matter?
Could beauty be defined?
Is there a need for personal responsibility?
What becomes of communication?
Is intellectual thought necessary?
Does anything progress or does it simply exist?
These are just a few of the many questions you could ask. Fortunately each of those questions are merely hypothetical. But I think it illustrates just how important community and relationships are. They help shape definitions of things like beauty, significance, and progress. They enable and even necessitate things like intellectual thought and communication. I marvel at the impact that relationships and community brings to life. Despite the occasional frustrations with how I interface those two things, I am grateful for their impact on the overall quality of life.