Saturday, December 3, 2011

Community Property

I live in what could only be termed a collection of houses in a rural environment. I want to live in a neighborhood. I have always wanted to live in a neighborhood.

Today, Gary and I were discussing the need for various things. One of the things mentioned was a lawn mower. We have a riding lawn mower. Most of our neighbors have riding lawn mowers. Those that do not hire someone to do their yard work. Do we all need riding lawn mowers? Could not four or five families pool their money to purchase a lawn mower? They could take turns using it. Not only would it save a lot of money, it would save storage space, which would, in turn mean that not everyone would need a garden shed. 

This was the most obvious object I thought of, but others are certainly possible as well. We have land for sell in our neighborhood. We don't have anywhere to gather, though. If everyone in the neighborhood pooled their money, we could buy one of the lots and put up a playground. Sure, that would mean that we'd have to have some type of liability insurance, and many people would equate this sort of thing to a home owners' association, but to be honest, I'm just talking about people working together for the betterment of their community, not throwing down a lot of rules, which HOAs tend to devolve into. 

One of the things I've noticed is the tendency to isolate our families in our own yards and houses. We fence our backyards and stick swingsets back there, isolating our children. We spend time on our computers, but not on our front porches, if we even have them. It is the rare neighborhood where people spend time together. 

I think it is time to step out of our sheltered independence and learn to rely on each other once again. It is okay to need help, and it is okay to be able to do things for yourself. Just because you can do something for yourself, doesn't mean you should. Just because you can afford to own something, doesn't mean you should. 

Please, don't misunderstand me. I'm all for independence. I'm a pioneer type person. But, if you notice one thing when you read books about the pioneers, it's that they depended on each other. When it came time for threshing, they went around to each other's farms and helped each other. When it was time for sugaring, they all worked together. And, when it came time to help a sick neighbor, they were there to do it. They had a community because they worked at it. We need that. We need less division in our country. We need to work together to build our economy, lives, and neighborhoods. 

3 comments:

April said...

I don't know if I would say that they depended on each other. Maybe it's that they all saw the bigger picture and how to work towards it? It's a good thing to be able to do. I don't know when we, as a society, decided that it was better to do everything on our own and that it was "us" vs. "everybody else."

Kristina said...

"Maybe it's that they all saw the bigger picture and how to work towards it"

That is an excellent point. I think that is definitely it.

The M half of the M -n- J Show said...

I craved a neighborhood, too. When we moved to Austin, we moved into a cul-de-sac that definitely has a neighborhood feel. We have potluck dinners, movie nights, and dinner at each other's houses. This is what I wanted. And it's just as cool as I thought it would be.

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