The Power of Community
May 23 2019 02:28 AM
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Ghanim al-Sulaiti
Ghanim al-Sulaiti

By Ghanim al-Sulaiti

Community is defined as ‘a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common’ — but in reality it’s much more. Community is a feeling, and a sense. The true sense of community becomes most obvious at times when people come together to stand for a common cause, and the true sense of community is exactly what I felt from readers who were responding to last week’s column, where I called for change to the way in which the world sells animals in markets, including here in Qatar. 
Coming together to an area of common ground is beneficial for a variety of reasons. For starters, no one person ever has all of the answers — and I believe we enrich each other’s lives through the sharing of our knowledge, our passions, our stories and our opinions. Without the sense of community, so many aspects of life would be two-dimensional, black and white — and that doesn’t fit in with a modern day 2019 society.
A favourite quote of mine is: “There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about” – Margaret J. Wheatley. When working alone, it’s often very easy to give up when facing difficulty. But by surrounding yourself with others working toward a similar goal or objective, or feeling the sense of community through social media, it can provide you with enough motivation and support to push yourself further, to strive for better, to keep going — more so than you would have done on your own.
Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.
Often, it’s easy to forget what unites us and instead focus on our differences. But in reality, there will always be more to unite us as a community than to divide — and in an era full of turbulent politics, uncertainty and the threat of international trade wars between country super powers, it’s us that should continue to remember we are all stronger together. As an entrepreneur, I have always focused on ensuring a common theme throughout my portfolio of businesses: a healthy community. I built the companies to ensure that a person is able to be part of my community of businesses that enable a person to live a life that is vegan, plastic-free, has long-term sustainable solutions, and more. I did this because we should never underestimate the power of ‘belonging’ to a community that thrives on common interests. I have always had veganism (in all of its many forms) at heart — and being part of the vegan community on both a local scale, and international scale, made me realise how we can feel better as humans when we come together for a purpose.
Jean Vanier, a Canadian philosopher said “One of the marvellous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals” and it’s this kind of mantra that can help us see and be active in the community we are all a part of.


n The author is an expert in vegan wellbeing and health.
Instagram handle: @Ghanim92 




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