A huge part of the “greening” of our society has to do with the Great Recession. I will not go into politics here (and I hope you will refrain also), but we can probably all agree that times are tough. Many of us have reacted by digging up our yards and planting things we can eat. We are raising chickens. We are canning. We are cutting back. It’s pioneer days and back to basics.
For some of us, this is business as usual. For others, it is JUST IN CASE. Just in case something bad happens and we are left to our own devices. Just in case we can’t buy what we need from the grocery store. Just in case fuel isn’t available and money becomes worthless. We are preparing for the collapse of Something, and are working diligently to make sure we will be amongst the survivors.
In fact, few of us would last a month in any of those scenarios. Which brings me back to the new job. Working with the public has reminded me of one simple thing: survival depends on our ability to maintain Community.
I have heard some very sad stories of how these hard times have affected regular people. I spoke with a girl who told me her family had to move out of their apartment because they could no longer afford it. She and her sister were going to be living with friends while her parents were trying to find another place to live. I’ve seen people paying bills for their friends, to help them through a rough spot. I talked with a lady who wanted to know if there was any place she could find a coat for her grandson who didn’t have one. I had a conversation with a gentleman who called me from the hospital where he was recovering from a work injury (he fell through a roof), he was concerned with getting back home so he could get his mail and pay his bills.
These stories all share one common thread. The need for Community. It is how we will all get through rough times. It isn’t enough to survive as individuals. If any of us have the opportunity to help someone else, we should grab it. Share our surplus. Offer assistance. Run an errand for someone who can’t manage it. Foster a pet for someone who can’t afford it. You won’t have to look far to find someone in need, everyone is hurting right now.
Someday we might be on the receiving end of someone else’s good will. That is ok too. As long as we all look out for each other, the debt will be paid.
Working together as a community will make the recovery so much sweeter. Go ahead and plant that garden and bake your own bread. It’s a wonderful thing to do. But don’t forget to check on your neighbor, friend, family member and coworker. This IS about survival. It IS about paying it forward. But it’s also how we were raised and if we are truly going back to basics, this should be the very first stop on our journey.
Join me on my journey to find ways to live sustainably at www.facebook.com/thepocketfarmer .