Community living, an alternative for a new society

Vlierhof Community
Vlierhof Community

Supporting a community is a concrete way to change the world, one action at a time.

Community means together, individuals with shared goals that join their actions and define their way of living.

This premise is very basic however when taken into practice it actually generates positive impact at many levels. 

The first community we are brought into as we are born is our family, the family defines the way of living and traditionally this means teaching youngsters what the adults have learned, which is a lot of self-grasping, in other words to see one self as the center of the universe, to care about the self first, and then care about their family and at last maybe to care about some of their acquaintances.

Human beings have adopted this idea that what’s important is to take into consideration only the satisfaction of their own individual needs without leaving space to reflect upon the damage or benefit each action they make in daily life brings to the environment, other people and the rest of the living beings in the planet. 

This is the way humans are educated into society, with a high sense of individuality, competition and needs that must be fulfilled but little or no regard for the benefit of others.

So why is a community different? 

A community starts with a decision,  a conscious process to gather up with individuals that want to get certain results in their lives and that are aware that nothing is really meaningful if it’s built alone and for no one else’s benefit.

For the past month I had the opportunity to spend time with a community of people in North Germany where sustainability and environmental conscience constitute one of the pilars of this way of living.

The most tangible benefits you can immediately experience when living in a community are:

1. The environmental aspect- one person can generate an enormous impact on the environment, from the energy consumption to the waste generation, living in a community sharing spaces, using alternative energy sources and processing waste reduces the impact of not one but many persons at the same time, while it also creates an education around the environment and a conscience in each person.

2. The social aspect- one of the most immediate and tangible benefits the community gives is that people have the opportunity to actually share, they share their time, their feelings, their goals, their ideas, their self with other people in a welcoming space, the intercultural exchange and intergenerational exchange is enriching for every member of the community whether they are there for a shorter or longer period of time.

3. The personal aspect- The constant interaction with others is a way to know yourself better, the community provides many constant opportunities to know and recognize the self in another may it be by a good friendship or a more complicated interaction, each person is a mirror for another and the self is presented with many chances to learn new things: acceptance, love, lack of judgement, respect, kindness.

Environmentally responsible communities are growing around the world and are actually changing the model of society with a different mindset, they are rescuing spaces, restoring  fertility to the ground, growing their own food in a real healthy way (not the commercial unhealthy idea of healthy), providing for their own in a space where people have the freedom to be themselves and where the personal dimension of the self inside and outside has an equal role as the mental, physical and spiritual dimensions.

Isn’t this our idea of a desirable society? 

Bringing in one’s skills and talents into a place where they will be valued and appreciated is a good way to start creating a caring and responsible world.

New people are always welcome to join and experience it whether on a short or long term basis. 

For some people the idea of changing the traditional model of life is too radical, but communities also allow part-time involvement, so it doesn’t mean that everyone should quit their daily jobs, rather it is a chance to give something to the world, something that was missing and only you can provide.

For more on volunteering at an eco community in Germany contact by message.

Thank you for reading

K

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