How will you live in a community?

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How will you live in a community?

Post by Hari »

Community social structure tends to boil down to economy as being the most powerful factor in its growth and development. Even if you are living in the best of communities if you cannot maintain yourself and your family, you cannot get enough to eat, a proper place to live, maintain your health, or live life according to some standard that you need, you cannot remain there. Therefore the first and foremost responsibility of every person desiring to live in any community anywhere is to have a means of support.

If you are self-sufficient and have enough money, you could consider buying land and building a house with the idea to use it as a vacation house or a hobby garden. However such developments are not necessarily useful since there is no real community there in the sense of a living and growing group of people whose economic and social survival are interconnected. Retirement communities are an example of this. Although the idea of co-dependency is frowned upon by spiritualists, in context of community, co-dependency is that which makes it grow and thrive. When there is no longer a possibility to earn money within a specific locale people tend to move to another location. Many communities have been built with the ideal to have a nice place to live but have not considered the very basic and fundamental requirement of economic sustainability. A hobby community is an opulence available only to the rich.

Modern society has centralized most aspects of community. Farming is large scale, utilities provide water and power, communications are provided by a central source, and supermarkets and malls have replaced village centers. This is all well and good in times of prosperity for those who do not wish to worry about the basics of life outside of making money. Perhaps this is the most important consideration for those who wish to create a community. Why does one wish to live in a community if one already has what one needs?

Each individual has to determine what they will do to earn money within that community structure. If the community is far away from the city then there is a possibility to earn by providing goods and services to those who live there. However, if the local population is small, one will not be able to earn enough and will have to find other customers outside of the immediate community. This is possible in some situations and this possibility has to be taken into consideration. Another way to create economic relevancy within a community, and one that is often used by alternative groups, is to manufacture something compatible with the location and the ideals of the people who live there. For example those who are, or were, part of the movement of Rudolf Steiner created the brand Weleda that provides a useful line of products. Another possibility is to have an organic garden and provide vegetables weekly, or in some predictable interval of time, to people in the nearby areas on a subscription basis where they would regularly receive a box of a variety of vegetables. Along the same lines, one could provide meals for those who either do not have time or whose health does not permit them to cook. One could create a center for seminars, healing, or a retreat for others needed escape from the pressures of work or the city and this would be a good interim means to support the community while the society at large remains intact. If and when there is a social breakdown, one can adjust the community to be more self-sufficient.

If one lives in a community yet must commute long distances to work, one will, after a while, consider the long trip to work as being more significant than the communal living situation and move to an area closer to work. If one is economically prosperous in the community or due to living in the community, one tends to be more tolerant of local politics or difficult communal social situations. If one is struggling economically, one might still be inspired to remain in the community if it's a pleasant experience, but one would leave rapidly if it was not. Therefore, nothing is more important than establishing the economic basis of the community and every individual family or person living within it.
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