Looking back at the past two years and evaluating new hobbies, skillsets, or even habits that have become a significant part of my life, I've noticed that very consistently what kept me continuing after all this time is the community around it. When you have a community that you identify share some of the positive qualities that you identify with, you inevitably feel comfortable and more likely to stick with that particular thing you're trying to do.
Take bouldering for example, I often frequent a gym in a neighborhood called Gowanus. It was the original gym before it opened 4 more gyms in east coast. The first time you walk into this gym, you would understand why the gym was named after Brooklyn as it immediately speaks the language of this borough. It sits in a warehouse and all throughout you'll noticed that graffiti covers almost all the walls surrounding it. The building itself look old and they have swapped out some new walls to replace old ones, but what I love about it is the people.
At most places, one of the hardest thing for anyone to be part of a community is feeling rejected; simply because you're not good, strong, or genuine enough. When you come to a gym like this, you never feel like it. On a Wednesday evening like this, you'll often hear random shouts of people cheering each other on. Everyone understood the joy of climbing, but most importantly the joy of trying and failing, and what it sometimes take just to give the person a boost so they can defeat their own obstacles.
The Brooklyn climbing community have really opened my eyes to the power of the community. In a time like this, I often see Tech evangelists on Twitter talking forming communities, but I have doubts around how they can be done digitally. I will continue to keep a close eye on companies & products (or individuals) who are doing a great job in creating, fostering, and maintaining not just a close-knit community, but ones that are guided by mutual respect and continuously display positive reinforcment to support each other.