Community with those you do not know

Submitted by Derek Alton on February 26, 2012 - 10:33pm
Stealing a phone

A freind of mine posted this video on their facebook page ( and it made me think.  THe video is a man filming someone stealing a cell phone and then heckling the guy.  He then promptly posted the video on youtube, it went viral and they eventually caught the theif and returned the cell phone.

In our day to day lives we share space with people all the time.  We however, are often so wrapped up in our own lives that we don't even notice them, let alone care about those around us.

This person went out of their way to care for a person who they had never met and confront someone (something that we are not good at doing).

What would life be like if we started taking more of an interest in the people around us. If we started to care about them, without needing to know them.  How often do we see people every day, struggling with something and yet do nothing about it?

What I found equally interesting in this video, is if you look carefully, there is another person on the train, who stays seated, looking down and completely avoiding the situation.  This I think represents where most of us are.  Who are you going to be today?  Are you going to be the man who sat to the side, or are you going to be the man who got up and confronted a theif and help someone they didn't know?

Good point

You address an important issue Derek.  It is very easy to cet caught up in working to strengthen your existing communities or to create community in formal settings.  We need to practice community everyday and employ it as a minset so that it is our first reaction in various situations such as the one you described.

We need to condition ourselves so that community-oriented actions are instinctual rather than something that requries a lot of time and energy to deliberate.  Creating such a mindset will be arduous but a well worthy (potentiall imerpative) endeavour.