Happy Summer

Be Well Be Happy

Everyone is happy! Summer is here! One of the things I realized about this is that people are happy to see other people. Neighbors on the block, people lingering outside a local store, etc. Connecting to others, catching up, spending a little time. Winter is isolating, people go away, we rush about outside to get out of the cold. Warm weather comes and the smiles and the greetings and the plans to meet abound. The sense of community and belonging is very comforting and we are very fortunate to have it. 

After reading “The Lazer’s” column last week: “Tribalism,” and thinking about the above, I recall a book I read twice, Tribe, by Sebastian Junger. The basic premise is: Inherent in our beings is a need to be close and to have purpose in our lives. There are many references in the book, two stand out to me. One is Native American tribes and the other is teams in war. In Native American tribes, there is an enormous sense of community; from my understanding, everyone has a place and a purpose. It has been reported that there are instances when individuals who were captured by a tribe and lived within that community for a while, when reunited with their families in other U.S. territories, actually went back willingly to live within the tribe. Mr. Junger refers to some veterans as being lost when they come back to their families. They miss and long for the closeness they had with their team members and the very important purpose they had every single day. This far outweighs danger and fear and any other negative aspect of war. 

These observations are amazing to me and underline the need for people to connect, feel needed and belong. When cities become populated with large buildings, the sense of community goes away, along with the small grocery stores, specialty shops, local eateries, and the like. There are some “neighborhoody” places in Manhattan such as in the area surrounding Hudson Street, for example, where people who live there can shop and dine in the local places and know the people around them. It is comforting because it talks to our inner beings. Who is it that said, “No man is an island?” (Had to look it up, John Donne). No man or woman is an island, not only because we are reliant on each other for basic life needs, but also because our minds and hearts flourish with the human interaction — intellectual, social, emotional, psychological.

So, we live in this community and it is a pleasure every season of the year because even though we see more of each other in warmer weather, we know we are all here (or will be back) and that is comforting. And if stuff happens, no matter when, no matter what, there are those who will be there. Have a happy summer and enjoy all around you!

May you be happy. May you be free. May you let go of things that do not serve you. May you have inner peace. 

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