By Jasmine Wilborne
I want to live in an actual neighborhood. It sounds really cheesy to say this, but I want to be able to wave to the people who walk on the street and know them by name. I want to be invited to my neighbor’s holiday party. I want to know the intimate details of what is going on in each other’s households. I want to answer the door to a neighbor in tears and be able to guide her to our family room to talk it out. I want to know the people on my block and I want to know that they know me. Simply, I want to be connected to the people on the small block I live on.
But that world is only a dream for me-for now.
The beauty of the eco-village movement- and mind you all that I know about the eco-village movement is from little articles here and there that I have independently read and from Seth’s own personal experience at Sirius in MA- is that it reconnects people to each other and to the land. Currently, there are so many factors that have severed the human from really feeling connected to the earth that an exhaustive list would be impossible to make. Eco-village’s are created by individuals of shared minds who are hungry to re-establish wholesome agriculture and wholesome community. This is what I find beautiful.
But I do not believe that the eco-village movement is the answer to the serious problems which are damaging and growing in our society like: gentrification in cities, fossil fuel usage, the era of the dispensable human (everyone is replaceable in a capitalistic society) and the polarization between people to, name a few.
Instead, I think the eco-village movement seeks to provide an experimental vision of what could be. Well duh, that is because they are experimental! Haha.
I’ve been grappling with the following questions:
1. I define community as people who are bound to one another by geographical location–specifically where they live- and who depend on each other for survival, support and the meeting of basic needs. In a society where basic needs are met outside of one’s immediate home, how can community be re-established?
2. There are huge disparities between neighborhoods. For instance, in one city one neighborhood can be wealthy and another can be poor. If my definition of community in Question 1 was to be actualized in poor communities, what barriers will present themselves as the new found community were to grow as one seeing that they often cannot meet their basic needs without government assistance? Will wealthier communities have an easier time creating community defined in Question 1, or will they have a harder time seeing that they do not need to depend on one another to meet their needs?
3.Is it bad to “allow” homogeneous communities? I ask this because I don’t believe that there is anything wrong with homogeneous communities as long as they are open to others. BUT I think the problem with homogeneous communities is that xenophobia ARISES from them! Haha. So I guess have a dilemma. I want people to be with the people they want to be with, while also inviting them to be open to others. I’m thinking like a cell. A cell’s walls are semi-permeable— so maybe the communities can be to!
These are just my thoughts on neighborhoods.
Have a fancy week!