I recently had an experience and it showed how quickly a community of people can be built even if only for one day.
My dad had to have cataract surgery and it meant an extremely early day for all of us. We were at the hospital by 6am which isn't normal for any of us. The first thing I noticed that as people arrived to register everyone started acknowledging everyone else. No one knew the next person in the registration waiting area but everyone was friendly. After we registered we said good bye to one couple and found out that they were also going to be in the same area of the hospital as we were going as the wife was also having cataract surgery.
Now this is where the community started to build was when everyone started to arrive in the Eye Centre. Of course sitting in this waiting room meant that everyone was doing to be going through the same procedure and the support person was going to have to be waiting around for their family member to be finished. Most people again acknowledged each other and in some cases some conversations were started.
Once I had my father checked in I was to leave the area but stay close so that I was there to pick him up when the procedure was finished. I of course had my mom and my husband waiting for me downstairs so I went and sat with them for the hour of waiting. Now this is where the community was great, as everyone was waiting they acknowledged the next person even through we didn't know each other. A smile, a wave or even a nod of the head meant we were there for the next person.
The couple that we spoke to at registration were the first one's that were finished and the lady actually came over to talk to be before she headed home. It felt very good seeing that our little community was a caring community. She wanted my mom to know it wasn't a bad surgery and she told me that she had a nice conversation with my dad while waiting for surgery. This couple had the same surgeon as my dad so we will probably see them a couple of times at the office for the check ups.
It wasn't long after this conversation that I got the phone call letting me know that it was time for me to go and pick up my dad. As I walked up I got the waves from others waiting as if to say good bye for now. There were also the smiles to say the waiting is over for you so my waiting must be over soon.
Yes the community may have only been established for a few hours but it really shows that people when facing the same issue can because friends. No we don't know each others names or anything else but we were there for a common reason and like most communities that is the reason for a community. That community is gone now but it did leave a nice foot print.
Remember when you are faced with a common issue a simple smile, wave or nod of a head can mean a lot to the next person.