To join together with a sweaty mass of humanity for some sort of joint endeavour. Singing in a choir, playing in an band, chanting at a football match (of the strictly positive and encouraging sort, not the questioning the referee’s parentage sort).
There’s a lot of hate and division about right now that can isolate us and diminish us but we are, ultimately, all part of humanity, we are all interconnected. We are all one. At that level, we can connect with each other and set aside our differences, and that’s good for our soul and for our society too.
There are less opportunities for us to do this today, as we sit at our individual screens watching our own programmes, listening to our own music. Fewer and fewer of us go to church or other communal gatherings. We have become more atomised as a society and more isolated as individuals. It’s when we are apart, when we lose our connection, that the divisions become pronounced and turn into schisms.
Brene Brown makes this point in ‘Braving the Wilderness’, her latest book. When we come together to share joy, or to share pain, in a ‘collective assembly’, we can actually bear witness to inextricable human connection that binds us all. This gives us feelings of social connectedness and well-being that last long beyond the event and contribute to our over psychological health. What’s more, its hard to remember you hate someone when you are joined together in this way.
So go and find some opportunities for collective assembly. Come together. Then you’ll never walk alone.