people in silhouette raising hands at dusk

“You have to engineer a village for yourself, because it won’t happen otherwise.”
—Dr. Kirk Honda on his podcast Psychology in Seattle

It’s the village, people.

It seems that the folks behind the song “Y.M.C.A.,” Hillary Rodham Clinton, and all of the people who passed along the traditional African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child” were on to something.

On a recent podcast episode, Dr. Kirk (who likes to go by Dr. Kirk), an expert in psychology, explained that while we in America might find this idea corny, it’s actually vital to our wellbeing.

He explained that our American society is set up for minimal human interaction. We hide in our homes and rooms, with our individual screens. And when we have kids, we are expected to raise them alone.

He says there is a better way. Find people you can rely on for help, he says, and help them in return. Find friends who also have kids, and give each other a break by watching each other’s kids.

This wisdom, I believe, also applies to those of us who don’t have kids. Society is pushing us to be alone. The coronavirus is pushing us to be alone. If we do nothing, we will be alone.

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Contrast this to traditional village life: if you do nothing, you are surrounded by people, of all different ages, almost all the time. That’s the type of society humans evolved in.

So we need to push back against our society’s unnatural isolating tendencies. We need to actively find our village.

“You have to engineer a village for yourself, because it won’t happen otherwise.”

And that’s hard. You might have to look in a bunch of places before you discover people you fit in with. Nowadays, you might have to seek out a community through Zoom, which makes things even more difficult.

But not impossible.

Take action. Find your village, people!

Y.M.C.A. = You Must Create Army

(I just made that up. Ha! You must create an army of mutually loving and supportive friends and family, ideally of all ages.)

Have you done any social bonding or networking this week?