Community

 

Two heads are better than one, as they say. And in my opinion 3, 4, 500 are even better. Collaboration has always appealed to me and the communities that collaboration creates have a particular allure. I’m talking about communities in the broadest sense: religious congregations, book clubs, sports teams, schools, cliques, neighborhoods, gangs, and beyond.

At the core of communities are strong personal relationships. Personally, I felt most badass, most fulfilled, and most engaged with life when I was walking into a volleyball gym with my teammates, or pulling an all-nighter with my entrepreneurship team, or collaborating with an integrated team at work. There are inside jokes, similar values, common goals, and even visual cues that you are “with your people.”

I’ve come to realize collaboration is a passion of mine, and a lot of my pursuits so far have been centered around idea sharing and forming alliances strengthened by comradery. This includes entrepreneurial pursuits, my posture at work, as well as how I look at my personal friendships. I love to be a connector.

Communities are underutilized, especially post-college. Any New Yorker has experienced, at least once, the crushing loneliness living in a city of eight million people can bring on. Same with most recent college grads, frantically searching for, or coping with, a job that may not fulfill every desire they imagined it could. Hello, millennials. What could really help are some good old friends. The kind that you can work with to achieve something you couldn’t on your own.

As I make my way across the Pacific Ocean, I am honing in on the lens I want to adapt as I explore these new cultures. Communities are ancient and universal. However, the United States is one of the most individualistic cultures in the world. My existing theory remains: People in the US could really use some more community in their life.

I’d like to explore communities in the eleven countries I visit in Asia, in hopes of bringing back some ideas and inspiration on how I can collaborate better with my fellow humans and how I can convince the world of the importance of this timeless tradition.

What new kinds exist out there? What are their social implications? How does it affect an individual’s psychology? Why do people keep showing up? What brings them together? What are the rules?

Today, we land in the Philippines just after midnight. With my 7-hours of sleeping pill induced airplane sleep, I am ready to take on our first night in the capital city. Let’s see what communities we can find in the early hours of the morning, in the party-friendly neighborhood of Malate where we will be staying in a hostel called “Where 2 Next.”

 

 

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