What is a community? The word has two different meanings. It can mean a group of people who live in the same place. This includes your classmates, your neighbours and the people who work in your local businesses and organisations.
Community also refers to a group of people who have something in common. These kinds of communities can be spread right across the world. For example, religions often describe themselves as communities because members of a particular religion share a belief in the same God, tell the same stories, and celebrate the same holidays.
Humans have always lived in communities. Scientists think this is because it was safer for early humans to live together in large groups, where they could share food and protect themselves from dangerous animals. These days sabre-tooth tigers are no longer a problem, but being part of a community is helpful in other ways — communities stop us from becoming too lonely and offer support during hard times.
That is why it is good to give back to your community through volunteering, supporting local businesses, or speaking up about any neigbourhood problems.
Are you part of any communities? What would you change about them you could? Why do you think communities are important?
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Communities can be small (like a football team) or big. In fact, you could say that the whole world is one large community. In this inspiring speech, the captain of the US women’s soccer team Megan Rapinoe talks about both. After praising her own teammates for working together, she then discusses how everyone watching can do small things to make the world a better place. Do you agree with her advice?
- List all your different communities, and rank them in order of most to least important to you.
- “What should young people do with their lives today?” asked the US writer Kurt Vonnegut. “Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities, in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” Do you agree? What do you think is the most important thing a community can do?
- What improvements could be made to your local community? Write a speech as if you were the mayor of your town, suggesting ways to bring together your community.