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BUILD COMMUNITY – BUILD A LIFE

In today’s society there is an artificial way of life that is so contrary to the deepest heartfelt desires of people, it is making people ill.   Illness reflected in mind, emotions, and even physically from the lack of a support system of friends.  The isolated shut-apart family – and individuals – is a fairly recent phenomenon.  For millenniums there were tribes of people, clans of family groups or friends.  We are hard-wired to thrive amongst friends.  But, modern life is far more isolated than ever before.

“What has happened to people that money becomes more important than people… People that are our neighbors, family and friends. Many will say to this that we need more money and without money we can’t do anything. Well we need to change our mindsets back to being a community again. A real community where people help people no matter their creed, color, religion or other factors.  Isn’t that what we built this country for and about.” Quote from a woman who blogs under the name of Lady Guinevere

Does anyone remember the old-fashioned barn raisings? which the Amish people still do today, by the way.

Mitch Battros of Earth Changes Media said in a recent newsletter:  With the changes that are here, and expected to escalate, the need for community is essential. As I am so often asked: “where should I move to, where is the safest place?” My answer is not a favored one, but I believe to be the most accurate. “It is not where you live, but who you live with.” This is to say the community you surround yourself with, especially in challenging times.   (in his emergency aid classes, he was told)…

“It is most important as you go out from here to train others within their own neighborhoods, to let them know up front – when a disaster occurs in their area, it will not be the Police dept. that saves them, it will not be the fire dept. coming to their rescue, it will not be Search and Rescue, nor will it be the Red Cross or FEMA — IT WILL BE THEIR NEIGHBOR.” (end of quote)

Having just watched an inspiring two DVD set from the Intentional Community Fellowship, we were really amazed and impressed.  These videos were delightful in how they presented a variety of Intentional Communities all so different – yet, with one common thread…Their amazing abilities to communicate and get along with each other.  It wasn’t a constructed thing enforced by rules.  It was a genuine caring about each other that came through in each group.

An “intentional community” is a group of people who have chosen to live together with a common purpose, working cooperatively to create a lifestyle that reflects their shared core values. The people may live together on a piece of rural land, in a suburban home, or in an urban neighborhood, and they may share a single residence or live in a cluster of dwellings.

Most members of intentional communities share a deep-felt concern about home, family, and neighborhood. Beyond the obvious purpose of creating an extended-family environment for raising a family, communities create an environment of familiarity and trust sufficiently strong that doors can safely be left unlocked. In today’s world of escalating crime, merely having that kind of security may be reason enough to join.  However, there are many reasons stronger than that – far stronger!

Like people, no two communities are identical.  Quite the opposite is true with sometimes widely differing approaches to life.  The COMMON THREAD is their commitment to honest communication, and kindness to one another.

Intentional Community DVD’s are titled “Visions of Utopia” Experiments in Sustainable Culture.  The cost is $30 each or both one and two for $50. http://store.ic.org/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=389   You may also purchase them separately.  Part One is 94 min. long and Part Two is 124 min. long.

If you are looking for an intentional community, ecovillage, cohousing, commune, co-op, or other cooperative living arrangement, you can browse through their community listings choosing any category that interests you. They are from all over the world.  They have community lists with descriptions, sometimes photos, often websites to check out.  Listings are done by country, state, and province.  Or, hunt by categories such as Wholistic Healing Centers, Farming, working with the Homeless, or helping children with learning disabilities.  Ecovillages abound.

Organic farms and gardens are there with absolutely beautiful settings.  Many of them are spiritually based in many religious beliefs such as Christian, Native American, Meditation and Enlightenment Centers, as well as Nature based systems.  You can search by maps, or refine your search with the extended form.   Being rich enough is not a requirement.  Many are work-sharing, or business sharing.

There is food production on the rural ones and even some of the urban sites.  Some have individual housing, and others share housing.  Some are forming, while many have been established for years, sometimes decades.

Financial styles go from each person being financially independent, to total or partial income sharing.  Some even use their own sort of “dollars” where you can trade hours, chores, etc.  Some have a common business like cheese making, or sorgum production, farm produce delivery, etc.

Shared meals are done in varying degrees of frequency.  Some,  everyday, 3 x’s a week, or weekly.

Locations were rural, urban, suburban, small town and one in the forest of the Smoky Mountains.
Decision Making Styles are usually one of these, but new ones emerge as new groups come together:  Consensus, a Community Leader, Board of Elders, or Majority Rule.

Whether you are interested in such a lifestyle or not, we highly recommend these videos to inspire a greater sense of community wherever you are.  If your lifestyle is too lonely, think about visiting a community.

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