I have been an advocate and am still an advocate of self-care and inner work. Some of these practices are things that we have to do on our own.
However, there are many things that individual self-care cannot do or cannot do well. This is where communal care is critical.
Human beings have been social animals for as long as there have been human beings, according historians, evolutionary biologists, anthropologists, and other smarty-pants-thinker thinkers. We should really listen to them.
In general, lots of people say things like:
“Human beings are social beings.”
It’s not a secret.
Like so many other truths.
But like so many other truths today, we are aggressively ignoring them.
These days, we are living more and more individually and isolated.
The impacts of this are shocking.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s 2023 “Our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation:”
The mortality impact of being socially disconnected is similar to that caused by smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.”Vivek Murthy, MD
Let that sink in.
Then also know that:
More recent estimates, based on synthesizing data across 148 studies, with an average of 7.5 years of follow-up, suggest that social connection increase the odds of survival by 50%.”Vivek Murthy, MD
That is a dramatic swing in outcomes.
On the spiritual path, healthy communal care helps us to
- see blindspots,
- get hugs (touch is a biological support, and it is powerful!),
- feel like we belong, and
- generally regulate and calm our stress responses.
I have more to say, so please watch the video and share it with just one other person whom you think would benefit.