With the invention of the telephone in 1876, then the radio, and the television, the internet, communication satellites, etc. our access to the world has expanded beyond belief. Wecan now sit at our computer and talk face to face with a person half way around the world. Through media coverage we see devastation, poverty, and atrocities that are occurring right now in some remote location on the globe. Air travel can transport us to most places in less than 24 hours. We are truly a global civilization.
But what is happening next door? Down the street? Around the block? Do we even know our neighbors? Are we attuned to our own community? We seem to have substituted our global view for our local view. I’m not talking about the evening news where we can see all sorts of terrible things that are happening close by. I’m talking about being aware of and supporting what is happening in our communities. I am encouraged when I see signs that advertise “Community Garage Sale,” or signs that announce national get outside in your neighborhood activities, but these are usually once a year events in which we may or may not participate.
There was a time when community was everything. People sat on their front porches, visited neighbors, shared goods and services. Neighborhood kids used to play with each other in the front yard or in the vacant lot down the street. Families knew and cared about each other. Now I’m afraid that family members don’t even know what’s happening in their own family.
Regina and I have become aware of a movement called “Food Swap” where folks meet and barter with all kinds of homemade and home grown food items. We seethis as a positive step back to a more community based time. Our thought is that people could barter and swap more than just food items. Our goal is to seek out people in our community who are of a like mind. Maybe you could do the same.