Throughout the course of our lives, we often bond with people along the way. These people may come and go, but the real ones will stay. These are friends you’ve had for many years, maybe since childhood. They are the people who have overcome adversity with. They may be blood relations, or people you have a deep connection to through a shared passion and interest. You may be part of a club, a collective, a regiment, or anything that signifies a shared bond of a group effort. Building connections like this that you truly value can be a fantastic thing to do. It provides us with the most sustenance we need in life, year in and year out.
Honoring a bond with a community you cherish can be the next logical step, especially if the main activity you were together for has ended, or perhaps people have moved on. Consider the following:
After time has passed, bringing everyone together again can serve as a wonderful event for people to look forward to and embrace. There are many reasons why you might decide now is the time. It might be that one of the foundational members has passed away, and you wish to bring the community together to honor them and keep them in your thoughts. It might be that an anniversary of the group is coming up. You may decide to reform the group and wish to bring people together with care. Or, you may wish to simply get the old gang back together to catch up. A reunion is not something you attend only out of curiosity and obligation, the two emotional catches that many high school reunions are fuelled by. A reunion can serve as a wonderful means of bringing people together, and if planned in the right way can renew and inject new life into the group, helping everyone remember the facts that brought you together in the first place.
Honoring a bond might be remembering why it was brought up in the first place. Remembering your achievements and celebrating them, perhaps charting what effect your actions had on the passion you were involved in, or simply getting together and sharing stories that you can only truly relate to someone who understands can really help you enjoy your memories and also help them seek closure. It might be you decide to stage a group act of remembrance in order to bring people together, or to thank them for being part of your life.
It could be that you wish to honor those you lost when active, as is the case when veterans once again come together to pay respects to those they are no longer with. In these instances, honoring might require something a little more concrete. You may decide upon meeting in a specific location essential to you, perhaps a place you used to relax and rest after a hard days work. You may decide to craft artifacts to help honor the past and the present, such as learning more about commemorative challenge coins.
Honoring a bond with a community you cherish is often informed by remembering the best parts of that group, why you are proud to consider yourself a member. This can allow the entire timeline of your bonding to come to a sense of closure, or alternatively become even more intimate than it was beforehand. It’s this which can be the most important depending on your level of perspective.
Continuing The Work
It might be that honoring is not a matter of closure for you, but an active and dynamic process with an eye on the future. Pushing forward to encourage yourself and others to either continue, regain and reinject life into your shared passion can help you once again find a sense of purpose within this group. Sometimes keeping something going is the ultimate manner in which you can bring people together, particularly if enough time is elapsed for something to feel fresh again. You might tour once more with your tribute band for no other consideration than pure fun, or bring together a writing group to once again share ideas, perhaps with members a little more accomplished than they were when the group was formed in college.
Another fantastic way of honoring your work is to pass on your knowledge to the younger generations, perhaps helping them uphold the name of a club and allowing them to thrive using the knowledge gathered so far. Let’s use an example to illustrate this. Let’s say as a young man you were included into a local sailing club during your weekends for something to do. As you become older and life took you in many directions, you remember those years spent at the club honing your hobby, and wish to pass on something you’ve always felt anchored to (pun intended,) despite the relative humility or even closure of that group.
Getting together your local peers and deciding to ensure you serve as that including force for a young lad just like you were can help you uphold the name of that place, and help you feel a sense of connection to your adolescent years. This is a highly specific example, but should illustrate just how deciding to pass on your knowledge can steward a real emotional depth and sincerity that may just improve your life and the lives of others.
Namesakes (naming after someone or a group)
Naming someone after your group, or members of it can be a fundamentally respectful thing to do. It’s not uncommon for soldiers to name their children after people they bonded with in service, or perhaps to name their home after a club they once felt a great connection to. Names are often dismissed as not important, but sometimes implementing a namesake in the right way can prove a fundamentally respectful and considerate thing to do, and will help the story of your bond last for longer.
With these simple and emotionally considerate efforts, honoring a bond with a community you cherish, or have cherished, is sure to be conducted with respect.