Likely my last post of the night. Almost time for bed and meds are taking effect. And those meds are why I’m going to talk about community again.
Not everyone leads some charmed “normal” life* … honestly, some of us don’t want the “American Dream” life of a house, white picket fence, kids, a dog, working cars in the driveway, etc, etc, etc. Some of us choose a different path. But that, by no means, does not mean we never need community. I am different. My sexuality, my looks, my intelligence, my skills, my education… I could go on. I choose to not marry or have children. I might find someone I could live with someday… hell, I may even adopt a kid (older, no diapers) someday. But not right now.
Just because my life is different doesn’t mean we want to all be hermits and cut ourselves off from society (although a nice break from time to time wouldn’t be so bad). Have we forgotten how to BE a community? To give a shit about those around us? To lend a helping hand, in whatever method one is able, to those in need of assistance?
Or have we already been slowly diving into the deeper waters of “us vs them” … cutting ourselves off and telling people to just “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” if they need help? I swear I fucking hate that whole bootstraps bullshit. Usually the people who say it grew up with a fucking silver spoon in their mouths and gold trimmed diapers. I have an education. I’m finishing up my masters. Hoping to head overseas for a second to boost my desirability in my field. But no matter what I do, I can’t seem to get work to tide me over and help save money for getting there.
Community, from my own opinion, is people banding together to help those who are down. A good strong community doesn’t look down on those less fortunate. It doesn’t tell them to fuck off. It doesn’t ignore those who, by current standards, are stepped over, tossed aside, written off, and told to ‘suck it up.’
What we have today is not community. Community looks at the bigger things that need work as well as the little things… such as helping the person down the street. The one about to be evicted because they struggle to find steady work they can physically do.
Community is not “I got mine, screw you.”
Where did we go wrong? When did ‘loving thy neighbor’ turn into ‘judging thy neighbor’?
I know it was likely sometime during my own lifetime. I remember things differently. It wasn’t all “squeaky clean super-duper all-American” but if a neighbor’s dog got loose, people banded together and helped get them home. If someone fell ill, neighbors checked in. A lot of that sort of thing…
It can be done in a more global sense via the internet. We meet people online we likely never would have met in real life. But there’s still a sense of disconnection from community.
All I know is that it’s getting harder to find people who understand what community is. And that tires me out.
*I dare you to define “normal”