I’m a rugged, individual American. We all are. That’s the problem as our cities become larger and we have to drive to the grocery store rather than walk. We’ve lost our sense that we’re part of a community of people. When we get together in a group, it tends to be for national celebrations like July 4th or for sporting events. The crowd is large and anonymous, and generally there isn’t much sharing on the personal level.
Community is also important when I’m outdoors because things happen. If I break an ankle out on a trail, I will need help getting back. A cold storm soaks my sleeping bag and clothes, and someone offers me shelter. Rock climbers have an accident on the wall, and the community of climbers rally around to get them safely off.
There is also the community that forms when strangers share a discovery together, like hiking up to the top of Half Dome talking along the way, learning about each other’s lives.
We are to be individuals within our community. On our own, we would remake the world in our own image. In community, we remake the world to help others.