09 August 2012

Community building is an act of love

“The more we become inspired by being a part of something greater than anything we could accomplish on our own, the easier it will be for our ego to surrender to another way & a new approach. . . . I have had recurrent intuitions about an economic global collapse (which has been occurring for the last few years) & that those who follow their hearts to generate & share their resources by working together in a spirit of community in alignment with nature & the natural cycles will find this an empowering time. Whereas those who look to the government, boss or external authority figures will find they become increasingly disempowered.
A lot of people will lose their jobs in the coming years as the old empire crumbles. This means many will see themselves initially through the eyes of the mind & see themselves as a failure as tell-a-vision tells them they should be living in a large house, with all the latest technical gadgets, new cars & be cooking with gourmet ingredients! The best antidote to this sense of disillusionment is to get out of your head & into your heart by coming home to mother nature & the support of community. In other words, the ultimate therapy & creative rebellion is to form community gardens as a meeting place for social activities that celebrate the seasons of change!” from Star of Ishtar

At this time in my life, I am in search of inspiration and community.  Actually, I am always in search of it, but this seems to be a more urgent time than times past.  I believe this is so for a whole lot of folks.  I think that because shit is so incredibly intense, people are afraid.  Afraid that they will be the next person to get canned, lose their housing, have food insecurities, etc.  For a while now I have been having conversations with folks  about the importance of community. These are people who are struggling in one way or another, so community is important because it is necessary to our survival in a hyper-capitalist society.  There is a constant divide between the haves and the have nots, and I don't see it getting better.  I wish I did.  I wish that things weren't so fucked up, but it is.  But what is even more fucked up is that while these things are taking place, folks are moving farther and farther apart from one another.  It is the will of divide and conquer, and it places fear in our hearts and minds.  It also creates the idea that we have to scramble for scarce resources, which is utter bullshit. We fight like crabs in a barrel and it's destroying us.  We can't build a community if we are afraid.  We can't build community if we refuse to see what's happening to one is happening to all.  And we certainly can't build community if we don't learn to trust.  Trust in ourselves and the people in our lives that mean something to us.  Otherwise our community is fractured and in need of repair and healing.  Individually and collectively.  It's really time to flip the script. 

None of us should have to go through stuff alone. But I also realize that reaching out can be difficult.  Some (not all) of us will turn our backs on people when things get rough; we often blame the person in need for being in the predicament they're in, when really you can be in that same predicament.  Nothing is certain and these are the most uncertain times I've lived in in my 54 years on this planet.  But if you turn your back on someone who needs help, a hand up, not a hand out, who will be there for you?
So many of the people in my life are having a hard time making ends meet.  This provides us with an opportunity to be giving and charitable in unselfish ways.  Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics, asks us what does a money system look like that doesn't destroy, but instead heals nature, culture, and the human spirit? We can pool our resources together, whatever those resources are: money (in exchange for some goods or service), food, housing, healing practices.  We have gifts that we can exchange for other gifts. It's call bartering.  

Some of the conversations I've had have been hard and painful.  Some just don't get it, and perhaps never will.  Many are still drunk on individualism and the idea that people just need to pull themselves up from their bootstraps.  But if you don't have boots to strap, where does that leave you?  Instead, let's have some real conversations about how to build:  

What does this mean to you? What does it look like?

I write from a place of knowing, meaning that I write from my own experience and what I glean from it.  These views and opinions are my own.  You may not agree, and that's fine.  But I feel strongly about what's happening to us.  It bothers me when I hear my friends talk about how hard they're having it, how hard it is to put food on the table, pay rent or mortgage, get decent and affordable healthcare.  Like the quote above, we can be a part of something greater together than trying to do it alone.  I have been trying to do it alone, but I need help.  I need the love and support from people who claim to care.  I want to be a part of something bigger than myself.  I love, love, love the idea of building a community garden; the idea of people coming together to help one another out in whatever ways they can.  It could be something small that could mean something big to those on the receiving end.  Let's be inspirational and creative in ways that lift as we climb.  
Helping other people can be a cure.  Not just for those who are in need, but for your soul as well.  ~ Marinela Reka

Community building is an act of love.  It will bring us much more than a paycheck.  And I hope you understand that it's not always about money.  We were born to take care of each other and the earth we inhabit.  When you do something for someone, when you are mindful about making your footprints matter, the Universe takes care of you.  It's the nature of reciprocity.  It's not that difficult. We often make it so.  Let's stop doing that to ourselves and each other.  Let love, compassion and understanding guide us in everything we do.  Let's build TOGETHER, people!  We can do this.  Really we can. 

With life as short as a half taken breath, don't plant anything but love. ~ Rumi  

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