If you read stuff written about life in 2015, it’s easy to think that we’re all detached from one another. Separated by technologies which impact our brains but not our hearts, lots of folks would have you believe that the advent of Facebook and personal mobile devices has signed the death sentence of traditional community and friendship.
But, there has been a counterrevolution in the midst of our present day technological revolution. There are plenty of folks going back to the basics, hoping to achieve a kind of togetherness unseen in the most of the visible modern world. Harkening back to eras gone by, people are spending their time teaching, growing, building, and rejuvenating a way of life that most have long forgotten. This dream manifests itself in various ways, but it’s happening all over the earth. We’ll profile just a handful of these community minded places, showing you an alternate way of life.
Baltimore has become known for civil unrest in recent months, but there is an undercurrent of culture which is unlike just about any other city in America. Baltimore is made up of dozens of neighborhoods. In the 40 years of population decline it has endured, many of its old row houses have gone vacant. This has left entire blocks empty and declining. In certain neighborhoods, a sudden influx of people have moved in, but they don’t want the same old gentrification. Rebuilding worn out house shells from scratch, planting gardens in every available green space, and starting a community school from scratch to educate local kids, the neighborhood of Remington is taking a turn for the better. In a campaign to reopen vacant corner stores, presently disallowed with today’s zoning standards, the citizens have spoken to every level of government in the city. It’s a new neighborhood from scratch, and it’s showing how communities have real power in America’s cities.
Lend Lease design standards have re-envisioned the way people are able to live normal lives in Australia. Reclaiming abandoned areas, focusing on shared structured and community living, the Lend Lease way allows new home owners to affordably build wealth through equity, which still making available many of the humble, forgotten ways of life associated with communities of yore. It’s an idea that’s spreading throughout Australia and beyond.
Twin Oaks is the largest secular commune in America. And it’s been successfully running for decades. Here, hundreds of community members prove that it’s possible to conserve resources in remarkable ways, as long as you are organized, with like-minded people. Each adult community member has a variety of jobs, as many as a dozen or more, each contributing to agriculture, food preparation, wood growth and harvesting, etc. Working together, the community has become self-sustaining, noted for its peace and happiness. News is just starting to spread even though this isn’t a new community at all. American news sources are just starting to cover it, trying to learn the secret of their success. It’s a back to nature approach which seems to really be working. With worries of climate change always in the air, it seems that efforts like these will be seen more and more.
These are just three varied ways that normal people are choosing to live in community. In many ways, their lives still run parallel to mainstream society: owning homes, having families. But it’s the spirit of the thing which is unique. Many are foregoing individual wealth and achievement in order to make a life with people. It’s an ethos that seems to be finding an audience, and it’s one that is good for the world.