There's nothing quite like wandering around a marketplace to feel a sense of community. It could be the friendly traders or it could be the shoppers idly roaming between the stalls that gives that feeling.
It's even more special when the marketplace has homemade goods. Goods that are made with love and interest. A commitment to the pride that comes from crafting goods and products to satisfy the customers. This is so evident in the smile of the trader, the smile of pride perhaps.
Purchasing a product that has been home crafted is so much more special than purchasing a product manufactured on a production line. There's nothing like watching the craft maker at work, witnessing the effort and passion that goes into the product. It's like a little bit of the person goes into the product.
It's no wonder then that such a sense of community develops when this kind of effort goes into the work. It brings out a warmth in the shoppers as they pick up on the positive energy. It's nice to think that someone has worked so hard to please us. It's almost like an injection of positivity when you wander around a place buzzing with such passion.
Perhaps that's what a sense of community really means. The feelings associated with giving and receiving. Being there for each other. Thinking about the other person and being grateful for the work. Acknowledging the efforts with more than money but with gratitude.
I can't help but wonder whether this is what's missing from our modern shopping centres. They can feel impersonal. The products detached from the trader so that the shopper also feels disconnected.
I look forward to a time when we learn to go back to finding a sense of community again. It could be through craft or simply doing something for another person. Taking pride in being there for the other.