In the humanist community as I have experienced, people often group together online for community but I do not see regular meetings in person. In my opinion, the community gained from meeting regularly and socializing is one of the most important aspects of being in a community. Being together in an online community is all well and good but it helps significantly to meet with like-minded individuals to build that community and sense of well-being.
Here in the South it is hard to find a community to meet with if you are not associated with a church. And, often, those churches lean conservative and literalistic. Whether you are a liberal Christian, an atheist, or any other religion that lacks enough people to form a group, it can be hard to find people that share your moral convictions.
I cannot recommend enough for humanists to band together and meet. The sense of connection is valuable, particularly for those who daily must hide who they are for fear of retribution. It is important we gather together, not for any structured reason, but more to enjoy the company of those we do not get to see often. We should meet to build a stronger humanist community.
At the CHA meeting today we gathered to do nothing more than drink White Russians and listen to music. No topic, no agenda other than to meet and socialize. We didn’t discuss anything beyond introductions on who we were and a little about ourselves. Even though we already knew each other on a basic level it was good to hear from people and talk about our experiences. I can honestly say this was one of the better CHA events I’ve attended. Not that the others were bad but that the fellowship and socialization that took place today was honest, genuine, and heartfelt. We all made new friends and we laughed, cried, and told stories about ourselves. I can think of nothing better we could do as a community.
We need more of this in our daily interactions with people.