Community living is the way humans have lived since the beginning of time. People have lived close to the people they dealt with on a daily basis. Everyone knew their neighbors and they knew them well. They knew who was good at what, and they provided for themselves through the joint effort of the community. They knew how to get along with each other, in a way we have to consciously work to realize.
Lifestyles are very different in the “communities” most of us live in. Usually our communities are tied together by a Home Owner’s Association, landlord or laws and sheer location. We sometimes don’t know our neighbors at all. We get our foods from grocery stores and don’t know where they get the food from. We work jobs unrelated to our personal sustainability and the imprint we make in our lives. We take up a lot of space, with our “property” and we fend for ourselves.
However, a lot of us see how much is wasted in living in such isolated communities. A lot of us want to live in Intentional Communities. We want to use mutually beneficial resources, techniques and services along with others who share our basic views on living and housing and live in close proximity, putting our space to use in inventive and efficient ways. We want more than physical comfort, we want the comfort of knowing that the way we live is beneficial to the planet, sustainable and holistic. That the way we live nourishes and supports us, and that we are making a positive impact on the environment from which we derive sustainance, or at least that we are taking steps away from harming it with selfish, temporary living solutions based on disharmony with the environment, economics that fuels only the richest citizens of the earth and social culture and standards that neglect the needs we all have to live fulfilling, meaningful lives and to take part in the real foundations of daily living.
For some of us, although we want to live in an intentional community, making the leap is a difficult one. We are accustomed to living with only a few other people, if not by ourselves. These people are usually our friends, or family, whom we feel obligated to care for in a certain way by our society. But there are great ways of learning to live communally. Hosting visitors from www.couchsurfing.com is a great way to start. Another great way would be hosting cultural exchange students. Luckily, this summer there are many cultural exchange students coming to visit, and I have a lot of great information on how to use this as an opportunity to prepare yourself for community living.
If you have an extra bed, or can rent or borrow one for a little while and you’d like to participate in some great events and shaping a pivotal experience in the life of a young cultural exchange student please leave a comment or contact me today at [email protected] We have a lot of great activities to promote the sustainable community cultural movement and we need people to participate however they can! Can you help yourself move away from false security, selfish, consumerist ideals, and help a student experience our culture and language at the same time? It may just be the start of your journey towards more sustainable living, maybe you’ll even find or start an intentional community or community project through this experience.