For the past few weeks, “community” has been at the forefront of my mind (and in the background for many, many years). Why is it that I have moved from medicine to psychology to technology? What do all of these have to do with each other? The current underlying the three is simple: community.
Although work done as a doctor or traditional psychologist might have been more ‘critical’ and life-saving, I have realized that the internet is the way to reach so many people in need. I realized that my will to help people would be best channeled towards those who could psychologically benefit from whatever I end up creating/putting forward.
I am fascinated by anthropology, tribal psychology, and the power of the collective. Our human advantage certainly did not come from the ‘individual’ – put a man and a gorilla in a room, and you can guess who is likely to survive… however, when you put a number of humans together, the outcome is synergistic.
The whole is bigger – or more effective – than the sum of its parts. This is our human advantage. We utilize our communication in order to collaborate and effect change. This is so simple yet so critical to our survival.
So – if my drive is to bring people together, to collaborate, what exactly is it that I want them to collaborate on? I’ve always believed in Simon Sinek’s framework of the What, How, and Why – to start with the why. I can’t create something – be it a website, group, Instagram account, for the sake of doing so. I need to know why. The need must come first – and the rest will follow.
I was taking a nap on Sat 16th December. The night before, I had 8 amazing young women sitting around a dinner table, celebrating my 25th birthday with me. All based in Cape Town, living incredibly interesting and diverse lives (including two teachers, an Instagram personality, a doctor, and an actuary!), and having mature conversations with interesting insights and considered opinions. I was beaming with joy after having had such a lovely evening, feeling inspired by my peers and simultaneously having realized how incredible people are in my very hometown.
There were many things discussed at this dinner that I felt aren’t spoken about enough, ranging from surface level chit-chat to deeper life goals and fears, first job woes to Tinder date experiences… the open sharing of our individual lives, bringing in a certain vulnerability mixed with ownership of the paths we have chosen… it just sat so well with me.
So I thought: “Why are we waiting for these dinners and the cherry-picking of bringing incredible local young women together? I benefit from being part of so many online communities – most of which I leveraged during my travels – why not bring this home and connect those who are right here, on each other’s doorsteps? This was the birth of Girls of Cape Town, and I have such a cool feeling about what it could be.
“What if it fails?” Well, what is a failure? If one person gains one bit of advice/a recommendation, then in my eyes the group is a success. The biggest failure would be not trying to do this at all methinks…