Irrespective of the inevitable disappointment we’re all about to feel when we exit the World Cup in Brazil on penalties to Germany in the quarter finals, I’m looking forward to that unique sporting occasion… the spontaneous hug.
It only happens when you can’t contain your joy (or grief) any longer, it’s usually accompanied by some childlike jumping and hoarse screaming and it’s one of the most celebratory expressions of community I can think of.
Community happens when passions collide, when people share moments and memories with friends, family and people who like the same things. Communities aren’t defined by postcodes or political boundaries, they’re what you want them to be. The lads at the match, the girls down the pub, the family gathered around the TV, school, a band, a choir, a dog walking club – that’s a community. They’re places to chatter, share ideas, hatch plans and embrace the good stuff.
And of course there’s work; the place where on average we spend 15% of our time each year. Work is one of the most obvious communities we belong to, and although it’s often defined as a place we go for employment in return for wages, it’s also the place where we meet and make new friends, where we are most frequently stimulated and most creative. We recognise what skills we’ve got and how to use them. I’m sure that if we harnessed these good bits from the work environment and applied them to the other communities we belong to (and vice versa)… sparks would fly.
Humans are simple beings. We like to laugh and love. The communities we create and exist in are for playing in, for being creative in and should inspire us. They are places from which we can transform the world.
Forever Manchester’s job is to help inspire you to use your knowledge, skills and natural enthusiasm in whatever community nurtures you. So get out there and prepare for some spontaneous hugging. Who knows where it might lead you!