Community people on a hill

Finding Community


“We have all known the long loneliness, and we have found that the answer is community.” – Activist Dorothy Day, 1897-1980

Some of the happiest people in the world are those who have a close-knit community. Caring about, and being connected to, others can translate to a happier, healthier life.

In the documentary “Happy,” a filmmaker travels the world looking for what is making people live longer, healthier, happier lives. It becomes clear throughout the film, that one of the common threads of the happiest and healthiest people around the world is a sense of community.

In Okinawa, Japan, for example, the filmmaker encounters residents in their nineties, that still have the energy to dance and sing.

“When Belic visited Okinawa, Japan, he discovered a similar communal bond. During World War II, the island was burned to the ground and hundreds were killed, but the community saw past the devastation and used every resource it had to rebuild its villages.” (source)

One of the main findings of “Happy” is that happiness comes from a sense of connectedness with something bigger than oneself—whether it be family, community, religion, nature, ancestry, or the universe. This connectedness acts as a tether, keeping us from the feeling that we are out there floating alone—tying us to a cause, a community, a larger sense of why we are here and how we fit into the world.

“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” – Chinese proverb

In addition to connecting to others, helping those that are less fortunate than yourself can make you a healthier, happier person. This mentalfloss article breaks down seven scientific benefits of helping others: extending your lifespan, causing a chain reaction of altruistic acts, heightening your sense of well-being, helping ease chronic pain, lowering your blood pressure, improving your grades and self-image, and giving you a sense of purpose and satisfaction.

The mission of the SF LGBT Center is to connect our diverse community to opportunities, resources, and each other to achieve our vision of a stronger, healthier, and more equitable world for LGBTQ people and our allies.

The SF LGBT Center is a place where you can find community and connection. Whether attending an art gallery opening, participating in a workshop, marching with us at the Pride Parade, donating, or volunteering, being a part of the SF LGBT Center can connect you to others in the San Francisco LGBTQ community. After opening its doors in 2002, the Center has established itself as a cornerstone of the LGBTQ community. In fact, the SF LGBT Center is the only nonprofit in San Francisco serving all members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

From Youth Services to Economic Development to Community Programs, we invite you to explore the SF LGBT Center and join us as we help create, celebrate, and strengthen the SF LGBTQ community.

(Photo: Flickr)

Back to Blog