I know I’ve written about the crazies you’ll find in your intentional communities. I want to touch briefly on the crazies you’ll find when you start engaging with your neighbors in, shall we say, NON intentional communities. Because really, if suburbans and small towns are going to make it through a SHTF event, neighbors are going to have to pull together. And, unlike an intentional community of vetted people with similar goals, your neighbors in an average community are going to be a mixed bag.
Example A: My neighbor to the South reads waaaay too much David Icke. For those unfamiliar with his brand of crazy, the basic gist is
5- to 12-foot (1.5–3.7 m) tall, blood-drinking, shape-shifting reptilian humanoids from the Alpha Draconis star system, now hiding in underground bases, are the force behind a worldwide conspiracy against humanity. He contends that most of the world’s leaders are related to these reptilians, and that many prominent figures are reptilian, including George W. Bush, Queen Elizabeth II, Kris Kristofferson, and Boxcar Willie. (Thanks wiki)
The flip side though, is that she likes to preserve food. She’s my go-to neighbor for garden talk, local gleaning, and veggie swaps. I roll my eyes when she starts in on the chem trails and lizard people, and keep in mind the generous spirit that shared some dichotomous earth with me this summer to fight the very real earwig invasion.
Most people are like that I think, but as a society we’ve forgotten how to look for commonalities and points of agreement, we’ve forgotten how to work together. It’s much easier to find a fault, write them off, and go inside to watch American Idle, where the carefully screened applicants can’t possibly offend.
Now, I’ll admit, some nuts are tougher to crack than others. The neighbor to the East is so fanatical about his golf-course-quality lawn that he paid to have a company take out a mature evergreen tree, because it shed too many needles. Needless to say, he’s not a fan of my no-till organic garden in the front lawn. I’m sure the compost pile offends his sensibilities. I have to admit, I don’t even know his name. It’s probably going to take a SHTF event before we have common ground enough to stand on. But, he’s the minority. Most of my neighbors, even though we have different beliefs and different goals, I find I can work with them. Whether it’s moving something heavy, some knitting advice, a babysitter, a hunting buddy, a garden buddy or a bike buddy. Those points of contact help bind us together into something, that hopefully anyway, will be able to pull together to get through hard times.
Are you starting to engage your neighbors? How’s your community cohesion? Will every one pull together or squabble to death? If you need to make a start, start small. Borrow some tools, ask for some help in an area you know they are familiar with, make any point of contact you can. If you have a bad memory, write things down! Print out a map from Google, and write notes on it. Anyone else have tips or success stories? (or stories of crazies….)
– Calamity Jane