(This is a broad simplification of the development
of the feeling of community. See the general notes for additional information.)
||The feeling of community is an innate potential which has to be consciously
developed by training into skill and ability. It is innately so small that
it must benefit from social understanding to develop. After becoming an
ability, it may then acquire secondary dynamic characteristics of attitude
||Behavioral capacities include: making contact with others; relating
to others in a useful way; and contributing to the common welfare. The
ability to cooperate depends on the degree of the feeling of community.
||Intellectual capacities include: understanding others' point of view
and needs; accepting common sense over private logic; recognizing the inter-dependency
of people; appreciating the contributions of others; and reasoning with
view of immediate and future social consequences.
||Emotional capacities include: empathy for others (to see with their
eyes, to hear with their ears, to feel with their hearts); feeling connected
to others; anf the ability to feel and express acceptance, liking, and
love for others.
|STYLE OF LIFE
||Attitudinal capacities include: feeling at home on the earth; a sense
of harmony with the universe; a deep identification with others; a letting
go of a preoccupation with self; and a profound feeling of belonging and
embeddedness in social evolution.
||Motivational capacities include: sustaining an active, creative, and
generous interest in the welfare of others; contributing significantly
to the community; and making unconditional, ongoing, spontaneous, positive
social effort. The feeling of community is not manifest as mere conformity;
it implies a constant striving for improvement and correction toward an
ideal community for all people. The feeling of commnity, as a value, can
be adopted as the individual's primary meta-motivation (See Abraham Maslow's
The Farther Reaches of Human Nature). From an Adlerian viewpoint,
genuine ethics are a result of a very high level of the feeling of community,
and are a reflection of optimal mental health.
|INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE AND SOCIAL ADJUSTMENT
||The potential for contact and cooperation first develops between the
child and mother. These capacities should be extended in ever widening
social circles. She may mistakenly limit the child's interest to herself.
||The father has the second chance for making a cooperative connnection
with the child and spreading it beyond the home. He may be able to enhance
what the mother has started, or compensate for what she has been unable
||Brothers and sister have the third chance of stimulating a cooperative
attitude and extending it to other children.
||If the family members have not won the child's cooperation, teachers
have the fourth and crucial opportunity to elicit this crucial quality.
Many earlier mistakes made in the family can still be corrected in the
||Encouraging and supportive friends offer many opportunities for pursing
interests and engaging in activies for mutual benefit. For some people,
they may also provide an extended or substitute "family-like" network.
||A mentally, emotionally, and physically intimate relationship can deeply
enrich the feeling of community, both between the individuals involved,
as well as between the couple and society.
||Meaningful work, with cooperative, encouraging, and creative associates,
can validate the feeling of having made a valuable individual or team contribution.
||A spirtual community or practice may offer a feeling of belonging to
a group, and sense of interconnectedness with all of life.
||The therapist provides a safe and supportive relationship for the indiviudal
to make a trustworthy mental and emotional connection, stimulating the
development of a mutually respectful cooperation. This experience must
then be extended to others in that individual's life.
||The feeling of community is the Adlerian barometer of mental health.
It also provides a positive compensation for the normal inferiority feeling,
by generating the the knowledge of being genuinely valuable--which originates
from contributing to the common welfare.
||All forms of social failure and psychological disorder, reveal a lack
of a sufficient feeling of community. Problems are approached or avoided
without adequate cooperation, and fictional goals of personal superiority
are pursued, yielding imagined triumphs or defeats that have only private
meaning and value.