The Current Situation – Community Absence
It is a common observation that the predominant (i.e. – prior) world pattern has functioned in a way that has produced many places in which people live in close physical and functional proximity to one another, yet in that place they lack a meaningful experience of connection to their neighbors. These places lack community, and in these places the physicality of living in proximity is often confused for the functionality of community.
Wherever this occurs, the condition arises from the absence of the requirements for community. This often takes the form of progressive decline characterized by:
Collapse of the Community Social Contract
Failure of Local Co-reliance
Breakdown of Local Resource Recirculation
Collapse in the production of Community Wealth
This event flow drives an ever increasing systemic focus on ‘my, me, mine’ at the expense not only of the common good, but also of the systemic capacity to produce wellbeing for anyone, profoundly limiting community adaptability and sustainability.
In these places there is an ever increasing conversion of the wealth that naturally flows from the healthy activities of effective daily living out of community working capital and into financial assets that then concentrate in few hands. This oversimplifies the local network of commerce, diminishing and hollowing out the locally available jobs, which drives separation and isolation of the local residents from one another and from the real issues of provisioning life with food, water, shelter, education, finance, etc.
The result has been places that do not generate well-being, leaving most people in those places living in a daily struggle to survive, focused on finances and not well-being, often compromising their personal and family health for cash flow. And this happens across the whole range of economic classes.
These ‘hollowed out places’ do not thrive and do not enable thriving, regardless of how much financial activity may be engendered there.
Thriving now requires a local renewal (re-cultivation) of community. To move into this renewal requires a shift away from the old pattern that looked at community as an object (aggregated land, buildings and people), instead taking the more functional ‘new pattern’ view which looks at community as a dynamic social network of people coordinating their living of life together.
Seen through this lens, community can be defined as a social network in which the participants share, as a core element of their relationships, the tacit social contract to coordinate their living together so they jointly produce individual and shared wellbeing, community thriving, provisioning for thriving now and also in their shared future.