Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My passing thoughts

I wish we had real communities-- you know, the way you think of them existing in simpler times. Communities where you learn dances to come together rather than to perform, where you sing songs and tell stories in informal settings. Places where people feel safe and happy together and not like they have to plan something specific to bring people together (and even then have it be sort of rigid and awkward).

This has been my dilemma for a while now. I think I have finally figured it out. I love to sing and dance and do art and all of that, but I have always shied away from it because in our society you primarily do those things to perform them. Because of this I feel like you are expected to be good and you are sort of judged. I just want to do them because they make me happy but I don't want people to be watching, but doing along WITH me.

Let's re-institute traditional community closeness. We can do this by having simple dances that are about unity and not the perfect movements. Let's sing songs and not care how we sound. Let' tell stories and learn from our elders. This would unite people in so many ways and help each person feel belonging--being needed and needing others. The only problem is that people would have to get used to this. And learn these kinds of skills. And how do we start this? I don't know but it's what I want to have. A simple, supportive, peaceful community.

And this is just a piece of the whole picture. United communities all know each other, care about each other, and are able to all contribute something and glean something. They provide for the emotional, social, physical, and spiritual needs of each individual. Maybe I'm idealistic, but I just think we have gone so far in distancing ourselves in society so I'd like to see people come together more again and just be people without walls. We're all just people, and we all want to enjoy each other.

Disclaimer: this is not to say I don't love my family and friends and activities now--because that is FAR from the truth! But I've just been thinking about these things and how cool it would be if they were social norms still. Also, this was written really fast so hopefully it makes sense...


  1. your passing thoughts? I hope you are not DYing! Just kidding. I love this idea. It makes me want to be an indian and smoke peace pipes and go on hunting trips and make corn meal.

  2. hahaha you make me laugh, Rachel.
    I just realized that what I was trying to get at here is tradition-- I wish we had more tradition. It helps bring people together and create context for our lives. Just think of Christmas, one of the few tradition-steeped things in our lives. We love Christmas and I think a big part of it is that it fulfills our need for tradition/constancy in our lives... hmmm. I am fascinated by this.

  3. check out meetup.com It is a place where you can make your own community. I just found it today. It is really cool. I love your blog

  4. There are so many great books on community that you would love! Sadly, I read them all at Freshman Academy and/or Mentoring and can't really remember what they were called. I only remember one "Bowling Alone". I think...