Jim Rohn says, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” While this might not always be the case, our community or the people we spend time with play an important role in our lives and who we become.
Community is critical to who we are and who we become. We rely on the people around us to define possibilities. In addition, we rely on support from others to do big things, so without community, direction, motivation, commitment and progress are much more difficult.
Do you ever wonder if your community is helping you be a better person? Have you ever thought that your life would have turned out differently if you were surrounded by different people?
Keep reading because we will discuss how important our communities are to our lives.
Your community is critical to who you become
Our community comprises the people we spend the most time with; your family and friends have the most significant impact, but classmates or coworkers also play a role. This makes sense; much of how we understand the world around us comes from the things we see and experience.
If we see the people in our lives always working, we will create the concept in our heads that always working is what people do. Whereas if your parents are supportive and nurturing, you will expect that and likely do it as a parent.
Of course, over time, we develop a sense of self and pick up on the sorts of things that we come to care about.
But still, most of those influences come from the people around us and what we see them doing. It isn’t a coincidence that you see many younger people doing the same jobs as their parents. Growing up, kids see what their parents do; they learn about that work, which sticks in their minds as an option. Of course, anyone can choose anything else, but we tend to stick with the most obvious.
Our options or opportunities in life tend to come down to what we know is possible and what we think we can do. However, much of where we get those values come from what we have seen growing up as a child. And so, the people around us, our community, play a critical role in showing us those options and influencing what we can choose from later.
At the same time, most of what we take for granted is a result of our life experiences, even if we don’t realize it.
This reminds me of something that came up with my wife when I mixed food while eating dinner. The other day, we were eating stew, and we had a bowl of rice; I took some of the stew and put it on top of the rice. I’d say most westerns wouldn’t think anything of this, but to my wife, who is Japanese, this is extremely rude and a huge no-no. My point here is that these different responses are entirely based on the community we grew up in, even if we think there are other reasons.
Our community is essential to our lives because they define who we are and how we will see the world. Our community is critical because it sets the baseline for what is expected of us and is achievable for our futures. Of course, we always have the option to break away from our communities, but their influence never goes away.
You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with
While it could be debatable if five people make a community, but it is a good number, and those five people likely say a lot about you as a person. Even if you don’t pick your family, they are often the people you spend the most time with, especially when younger. For this reason, much of what we know about the world comes from what we see them doing.
This isn’t to say that we can’t live differently or do different things; instead, it is more to say that what we see the most has the most significant influence.
Both of my parents ran their own business when I was a kid, and while I saw how difficult it was for them at times, it is still what I’ve always wanted and desired for my career.
In another example of this, my brother has a group of 5 friends who have been close friends since high school. They talk all the time and share many interests, and while they have different jobs when it comes to hobbies, politics or almost anything else, they are identical. For this reason, I’d say their community has a strong influence over who they all are.
On the other hand, while I have friends, I’m not as closely bound to them as my brother is with his friends. I say this because we might have a video chat once a week, but outside of that, I wouldn’t say we are highly influential on each other.
This matters because our differences play an important role in why we are friends in the first place, as our differences fuel our connection.
But the thing is, even though we differ in our thinking, what brings us together is our desire to discuss complex topics. And so, in a way, this difference brings us together. But also plays a role in making us who we are, i.e., people with deep, diverse interests who like to debate those topics.
While we are all different people, the people we spend the most time with make up our community and influence who we are. For this reason, we must be careful about who we let become our community because they will have sway over who we become even if we don’t realize it.
It takes a village to raise a child.
It takes a village is an African proverb that suggests that an entire community plays a role in raising children. And while we might be more isolated these days than we were in the past, there is still an important role to be played by our community, as it sets the standards for everyone within it.
Living in a nurturing community will likely have more positive outcomes because we need support early in life.
On the other hand, it becomes more challenging to reach our potential if we don’t get the support we need. We need to be aware of the role we are playing in our lives and the lives of the people around us.
When we accept that community plays such an essential role in our lives and who we become. We realize how important it is for us to be good role models; it creates a sort of personal responsibility to be a good person who sets a good example.
We might not always realize what we are doing matters, but it does because it reflects on the people who see it and us. We can expect to see good around us if we do good, whereas we can expect to see worse if we do evil.
Positive community positive future
The people around us set an example of what is possible and what we can expect from our life. For this reason, we must be a part of a community that values the same things that we do. If this community doesn’t exist around us, we might need to go out and find a new one.
When we see motivated people working hard towards their goals and later seeing them succeed, this provides us with a strong example of how we can have similar outcomes.
If we see positivity in our community, then we will have a positive outlook; if we don’t see that, it will work against us and signal that we should seek a better community out.
If you want to live a meaningful life, you will get the most support from a community of people seeking out the same things. While it might not be easy to find people who share your values, you will have a much better outcome if you can. So seek out a community that aligns with your values and join them to have the best possible results.