Reflecting on my community in my hometown of Bradford, PA, I know many people and I also know of many people. I developed my own personal community through the people I interacted with at high school, sports teams, and my job outside of school. The people I grew close to and now know well, is my community. I associate with them frequently and see these people on a relatively daily basis. My sports team consists of some of my closets friends as I practiced with them my entire childhood and formed lasting relationships because of the history we have. I’ve formed bonds with my coworkers after working the same job for three years, and they have been integrated into my community. My community consists of the people I know, not just “know of”. They know who I am (not surface level), they associate with me daily, and we have lasting connection outside of the places we first met. All of these people I would define as individuals because I know them well and they know me well.
The “others” in my community are those who are not closely associated with me and only know surface level information. They are not integrated into my daily life and I do not have meaningful connections with these people. This could consist of a face I know from school, a neighbor down the street that I wave to, or the mailman that I see consistently, but don’t know anything about. To me, these are the side characters in my life. They coexist with everyone else but I am not connected to them on a meaningful level, nor would I pursue a meaningful connection these “others”. Who I have placed in my community has been apparent only by my own subjection. It’s by my pursuits that the people I know well, also know me well.
For example, being in college I’ve found that I miss the connections I made in my hometown and it is hard for me to want to pursue new meaningful connections. I have all these prior connections with people who I have known for over a decade. I don’t want to go through that process again when I already have my community established back home.
This can all be relevant in international affairs. Certain countries have certain bonds with other countries. They have formed a connection through assets and/or prior history. The countries that have little interaction with each other would be consider “outsiders”. In our world, on any scale, the way that we connect to others, places and things is all subjective. Once bonds are formed, we typically like to keep these bonds and eventually stop pursuing new ones. Countries will align with others whom they know well and cooperate with. Comfortability is relevant in international affairs. For example, the United States and the United Kingdom have a long history. Relations were reestablished in 1815, and the relations were strengthen after their alliances in Worlds Wars, Korean conflict, etc. When we have history with an actor, we stick to what’s comfortable and familiar. This is the same in establishing our own community. Anyone that we do not integrate into our space is an outsider.