Three Practical Ways of Getting Out Your Comfort Zone and Involved in Your Community
Today, more than ever it’s really easy for people to get stuck in the comfort zone, which I believe is a bad thing for communities across America. The boom of what I like to call the screen generation has caused people to be more interested in finding new games on their iPads and searching for more friends on facebook than reaching out to new people and participating in different activities. People don’t even have to get out of bed to be entertained or become socially active due to all the technology we have at our finger tips. The great vastness of information and possibilities on the internet and social technology is good, but can make the human interaction of “Hi. How are you,” seem very limited. However, it is the interaction with people that shapes a community. Melissa Ortega a child psychologist at New York’s Child Mind Institute said this about the effects she has seen of social technology on teens, “They don’t know how to handle conflict face to face because so many things happen through some sort of technology. Clinically, I’m seeing it in the office. The high school kids who I do see will be checking their phones constantly. They’ll use it as an avoidance strategy. They’ll see if they got a text message in the two minutes they are talking to me.” Technology in and of itself is not bad, but it is starting to take away from the very important skill of communication.
I know venturing out to talk to new people is not always the easiest thing to do in the world, especially with all the distractions of today’s technology vying for us to stay inside our homes and be ‘social’. But I feel like it is very important to get out of the comfort zone and become open to new people, particularly in the community. Three practical ways I’ve gotten myself out there are through sports, volunteering and church fellowship.
Being involved in a sport is a great way to get out and participate in the community. Whether you’re super athletic or the person that didn’t play any sports in high school there are different levels of play for everyone. Personally, I play a lot of volleyball. It’s a great sport because you get to jump around and just swing as hard as you can at the ball. If you’re like Mr. Anti Social, you may not talk to anyone playing, but I usually end up talking with people just because there literally right by me on the court. Also a lot of nice looking girls come out to play so that’s a big plus. But there are several other sports that most communities provide that can be just as fun and just as social.
Volunteering is awesome just because of the feeling you get afterwards. I hear all the time people talking about how the sense of community has weakened in a lot of places in America, which is probably true, but we don’t have to accept that. Any type of volunteer work helps build a sense of togetherness and morale that’s very authentic. I know after I finish my ESL (English as a Second Language) tutoring I feel really good because I’m giving of myself to people from all over the world who for one reason or another now live in my community of Kansas City.
Participating in church fellowship is important because it should be a place where you can be open and share certain successes or struggles. Unlike, the other two ways of building community, church fellowship nurtures a personal growth in spirituality. I have benefited from listening to other people’s spiritual journeys, because it helps me realize that I’m not the only one going through hardships in life. Getting involved in meaningful church fellowship is a great way to get out of your comfort zone and be involved in your community.