Today I am celebrating my 53rd birthday with 30 people. This event makes me aware of community, as my friends and family come together to blow up balloons, cook, pick flowers, make coffee and lay the table for 30 guests from near and far.

In a world which deifies the individual, the word community has become a precious concept. In the light of recent events, we are reminded of the importance of solidarity, unity and selfless action which lie at the core of a compassionate society.

A compassionate society is a successful society. When we can trust our neighbour, when we can feel empathy for our fellow human and when we feel able to support a stranger in the face of adversity, we fill a void that cannot be filled by the next i-Phone.

Our human connection is at the core of beauty, grace and love. It elevates us above being mere consumers and makes us into living, breathing, precious entities, that make a difference. We cease to see another human in terms of what he’s wearing or driving, but instead by the light in her eyes, by the generosity of spirit and by the openness of heart.

But all we need to do is look at how any ecosystem works, to understand we cannot and will never function as individuals in a cold world, it is simply not possible, we need each other, we need a mother to be born from, we need friends to lean on, we need other individuals to help us along in life – we are in fact never alone. There is always someone to be grateful for.

Our community is who we are. On our own we have little power, little meaning and little hope of understanding the true value of being human.

So we need to look up and into the eyes of others, smile and say hello – acknowledging this precious life we have a little more often! Personally, I’m off to blow up some more balloons!