“What does wellness, security, and happiness mean to you?” Thus, my first Community Psychology class ended with a question and an introduction to the first reading. My first reaction was, this is Abraham Maslow and his hierarchy of needs. On page 198 of the reading, Maslow’s third tier of needs is introduced as community and belongingness. But wellness, security, and happiness condensed this into the hierarchy of needs up to and including self-actualization.
Community is introduced as something with a perceived common characteristic among individuals, while larger communities are geographically larger with more cultural diversity and little in common. In my outside readings in anarchism and temporary autonomous zones (TAZ), this idea of community in wellness, security, and happiness is particularly intriguing as it promotes the common interests of small groups. Community beyond the spatial unit of geography through electronic communications expands the idea of a “small group” into a much larger unit with close ties of a small group, but one that may be the size of a mid-sized geographic area or larger. This is particularly interesting from the aspect of values, obligations, and expectations and the influence of groupthink.
The authors also discuss the sustainability of a community and reference the 2005 UK government’s largest sustainability conference where it was defined as “a place where people want to live and work now and in the future” (p. 199). I would also include TAZ, planned communities, such as the anarchist collectives based on mutual benefit, support, and interests. Unfortunately, as the UK government states that it is interested in community sustainability, it demolished one of the largest Romani/Traveler camps a few years ago without even considering the needs of the residents.