( TITLE – Communities forgotten – a new type of isolation )
This morning when I logged in to Facebook one of my friends had updated her status late last night with talk about her current excessive snow day conundrum. Apparently, having the kids at home is wearing on her business schedule and she was up late working.
The repeated beatings by snow in my area have given children many gleeful snow days – and some parents a real crimp in their lifestyle.
I don’t know the situation of the abovementioned friend in terms of help with taking of her kids. But it occurred to me that maybe some parents who are building careers and counting on their kids being in school for time to work may have been overlooking one of their greatest potential assets – others in their community.
These days, many people look to the Internet for a sense of community. Which is nice in a way but also kinda sad. For, no matter how many friends we have on Facebook or followers on Twitter or messages in our in-box, we need direct contact with other people to get us through the day-to-day realities.
The “independence” that we have in our lives, the ability to be and do anything we want – to seek our calling – has put a major crimp in one of our strongest assets – strength of community. And made it more difficult to make the most meaningful connections with other people.
I think strong communities come about when groups are isolated together in one way or another. When I was up in Maine last summer I asked someone if they grow a lot of their own food up there. She replied that they have to since nobody (food trucks) make it up there.
Spending time in the mountains in the western US has taught me that when you live in an area which is isolated and face things like lots of snow, people do come to depend on their neighbors. A lot.
And it is also just a matter of course to do things for oneself to take care of what we have. And people are happy to help one another. People live outwardly… People are happy.
In part, I think, this is because they go to areas like mountain communities because they want an easier and better quality of life.
The isolation in the wealthy me-centric areas, though, is totally different and makes it so there is scant time or desire to be a part of the world directly outside ones door and across the street.
I think this is due, in part, to the ways in which the societal disconnect has injured people…. <ellipses for pause> …. I read someplace that if we were not damaged we would not need healers, or one another.
I think that about says it all.