So cautiously, or not so cautiously for some, we begin to step out into the world again. As restrictions are relaxed there comes with it an opportunity to partake of those communal things which we may have missed. Certainly shopping appears as one on that list, visiting family rates highly too but the one I hear most is having a haircut, or having your hair done! The driving force of such easing has been economic concerns and justly so since the economy of our country and our local communities is central to our future, but perhaps the sort of things which we are beginning to do also show something that needs to be addressed within our inner selves.
All of our human race to some extent, are communal beings, some more so than others. Isolation is totally alien to us as a species as many of us have found during this Covid19 lockdown. We need to see others, to be with people, otherwise something begins to creak in our inner self. All age demographics have felt this to some extent but the closure of schools has had a particular impact upon the younger generation. Much has been said and written about the effects it will have upon the academic matters but the longer term impact will probably be on individuals and society because of the enforced social isolation from their own age group. The plight of a slightly older group concerns those who would have been moving into adult life in one way or another. Isolation for this particular group has been hard, in terms of not being able to be with friends when this is the most important part of life in developing character for the future.
As we begin to ease back into life, from a situation which most found difficult, many of us will be able to adapt from the strong basis we had before. Some will not, both as groups but also as individuals. The one thing that we as a community need to be conscious of are the people who have been more deeply affected and who will find it hard to get back in to the world. History testifies to the on-going problems for individuals and society when people become permanently isolated from their fellows. Strength of community can never be measured by the where the strongest are, but by the weakest.
We need to take time to give great thanks for all those in their various ways who have kept community going through a very difficult time. We have given thanks for the key workers, as weekly, it was lovely to hear the clapping around the village for them. But some have gone unheralded. Amongst these are our village shop, village pub and Bungalow Nursery and greengrocery, all of which have been important to whole swathes of our community, alongside the volunteers and individual many acts of help. Let us remember that community is built upon people and organisations who care for every part of it, so as we begin to move forward to a new time, let us remember all those things which have kept us going through these difficulties. The best way of doing that is by continuing to support them even more strongly, even when choice is restored. What we are together makes our community, which is not something that is just there in time of need but gradually grows in strength as we begin to know each other and care for each other in every circumstance. May our community and care for each other be even stronger.