On the Back of a Global Community

26/05/21
How the journey to collective kindness can save us and our world
Robin Ward

Agroup sharing values. An indigenous knowledge system. A universal ruleset, followed by many. However you define it, the convergence of people into communities has existed and grown ever since the term’s medieval conception. While their purpose has evolved from what was predominantly religious grounds, these intersectional gatherings of those with goals aligned, have long revolved around collaboration and togetherness. Part of this evolution, indeed revolution, has meant a broadening of reach. The world is not quite as local as it used to seem, and harmonising a global community seems something of a futile task amongst the chaotic political divides waging in the background. But I want you to challenge this assumption. Stay with me here.

As with all global communities, finding a true common ground that runs between everyone is near impossible. At times it seems the only thread of similarity between our in-groups is that we all belong to one. When collectives were first formed upon a common understanding, it was usually the case that the locality and proximity would be enough of a bond to bridge gaps of opinion and experience. But as we pass through the digitally-enhanced phase of continued globalisation, our previous sense of locality breaks down with each byte speeding from our phone, to a server on an opposite continent. Where communities were once geographically tied, they are now transcendent of borders.

It is this sense of a ‘global’ community, upheld by technology, that has somehow coined its way into everyday language. It’s become almost cliche, associated perhaps more often than is healthy, with the corporate world. But buried deep within Earth’s global community is a new current, albeit a slightly warmer than usual one. This current is the force of kindness. This kindness is the force of our community. A global, uniting attitude to be kind to the world struggling to sustain us.

Before this starts to feel immediately out-of-touch, let’s hone in on the essential point. The notion that ‘kindness’ alone is enough to bridge the voids of political opinion is a bold statement, but it’s what we at Kind.Community believe is the last, most resilient uniting principle in becoming globally sustainable. Is it really an over-extension of ourselves to believe that kindness is the key to solving the climate crisis? It’s a valid criticism that being kind is often synonymous with being accommodating, and many strong voices in the sustainability space have no rooms available... But we’d like to challenge this view, just as we challenge ourselves to view kindness as more than just an interpersonal act.

It’s time to start seeing kindness more as a response to our common habitat - the world. The small acts of change within the global collective that we’re trying to build, represents a total dedication to the environment and those doing good for it. Political divide starts to fade in the shadow of a planet whose occupants are eating the ground they stand on. As glaciers fall away and forest fires become emblazoned beacons of a civilisation heading for doom, kindness to one another and our environment is a welcoming, and importantly real choice.

There are differences among communities world-wide. This is obvious. The changing lived experiences of us all is not something to take lightly. But it remains true that the one commonality we all face is that our global decisions in the next 10 years will affect the next 2.8 billion. By fostering a new, yet adoptable attitude, our individuality can be translated into - that’s right - a community. Inviting difference and cultivating intersectionality within this community means that as it grows, the heaviest burden of all becomes just that little bit lighter. This is a long journey to undertake, but the first steps have been made. Now it’s just a case of taking the next ones.

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