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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Distant Neighbors

Tom walks out of his old house to retrieve the mail from his mail box. He sees his neighbor Paul doing some yard work. Tom notices that Paul has a yard sign in support of a presidential candidate. Tom becomes curious and walks over for Paul's yard. An interesting conversation ensues...

Tom: Hey Paul, your yard is looking fantastic! I am curious about your sign. Care to tell me why you are supporting that presidential candidate? 

Paul: Thanks for the compliments Tom. I love working in the yard. As for the sign, what questions do you have for me? 

Tom: Well, I am wondering why you are supporting that presidential candidate. What specific values and promises does this person have that is so intriguing to you? 

Paul: Well, I think he is going to great things for conserving the integrity of this country. He is going to develop a great national defense, offer affordable health care and education as well as crack down on some of the illegal immigration.

Tom: I find that interesting. Do you think this person will follow through with his promises is he is elected? What makes you think that this will be good for the entire country? 

Paul: I believe what he is saying. I think this nation is not in the best situation and could be better. It may mean higher taxes , but in the long run it will be good. 

Tom: Hmm, this is where I am perplexed. I think entrusting politicians to run out economy and use legislation and force to bring about their ideals is the antithesis of what we should be doing as a community. Sure we can identity as a nation, but in reality we are humans settling on different parts of a giant land mass. What you may think is good for a nation may not be good for the minority that doesn't support this president's promises. 

Paul: Listen, I love this country. I think that everyone should have equal opportunities, but I think government must step in to help us progress. Are you some type of anarchist? 

Tom: Paul, you use we and us very liberally as if you assume that we are all in the same ideological boat. The fact of the matter is that we are individuals in a community working together. Regulations and legislation make use obedient and divide us. Politics are a false dichotomy that distract us from the true nature of cooperation and ourselves. As for your anarchist question, I would say yes. But not the anarchist you think of. Anarchy allows for a more spontaneous order and dismisses the illusion of authority. When we can focus more on a micro level of community, we can learn and grow to build sustainable self governing socieities. 

Paul: Very interesting, what do you suppose we do? What about laws? What about the roads? 

Tom: Those are some valid questions Paul. We can focus on direct action and make the initiative to education everyone around us on how we can make a more free society void of politics and ideological struggle. It's amazing to think that me as a neighbor can have a different view of the world as you. Your political sign may put off people that support the rival candidate. It is designed that way to divide the people. We can live a block a way from each other, but our political ideologies give us a false sense of security based on media manipulation and fear tactics. We can start with neighborhood around us a let it expand to other communities. The intention would radiate and inspire others. We can live peacefully and accept everyone's religions, backgrounds and perspectives without trying to rely on politics or a "master" to rule over us. I feel like I am rambling, but I'm very passionate about expanding sustainable communities. 

Paul: I appreciate your passion, Tom. With my hectic schedule, this seems like such a headache. What can I do to help with this idea. I understand now that I have subscribed to a left-right paradigm and I'm ready to discover a new way of life. What can I do that won't interfere with my schedule? 

Tom: This is a great question. For one, you can convert your lawn to growing food. Your lawn looks great, but for the amount if land you have, you could grow some awesome food for the community. I would love to help with this. If you notice, my yard has many raised beds. I am able to eat off it pretty much all year long and preserve most of it when winter comes along. We can even specialize each yard to grow certain vegetables and plants. This will allow for a wider diversity and more concrete intention for progress. From there we can branch out in scheduling a farmer's market to sell or even trade our produce! 

Paul: Very interesting concept, but what if everyone isn't on board for this idea? I know some of these neighbors are stubborn and well, not Neighborly. Ha. 

Tom: They don't have to. We can lead by example. I have been trying to do this. If you notice a couple streets down, there has been two neighbors starting front yard gardens. I am not saying this is my doing, but we could certainly ask them about cooperating. Everyone in this neighborhood has an amazing talent or skill. If we are open and honest, we can learn to see how we can use these skills to our advantage. We can offer them something and they can return the favor. 

Paul: This sounds great. I never thought about this concept. I have always just depended on a large government to take care of everyone. I forgot about the important people around me. I was blinded by the potential of human interaction. I thank you for this. We should set up a neighborhood meeting and talk about all this. Republicans and democrats can come as well.

Tom: You have the right idea. Keep in mind, this is not about converting people. It is about accepting people. Accepting everyone's beliefs and not criticizing them. Judging and criticizing people won't lead to progress. When we can switch our mindsets to gratitude and awareness, all the unimportant things fade with ease. 

Paul: Thank you, Tom. You are a great neighbor. I look forward to meeting all my neighbors and surrounding myself with people that will support me and offer sustainable value. 

Tom: That's the spirt. Don't expect too much, however. Let that light shine. No one can squander it. Many people will try to drag you down. Accept them. Let them be. Move on. 

Paul: Perfect, thank you. 


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