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The importance of communities
One of the things that made Europe great is the sense of
community. Our non clannish society meant that everybody felt part of the community
and looking after each member of said community was a job both men and women
undertook with glee because if the community is healthy and happy so is every
member of it and everybody prospers.
This is what we have lost in the past 60 years, and we have
the media, feminism and their concerted attacks on our civilization to thank
It’s easy to go to war or exploration when you know your
wife and kids will be OK. While other cultures cast out widows and left them to
die when not outright throwing them in the fire, in Europe the weaker members
of the community were helped and treated with compassion.
The widow would have her firewood cut, and someone would
take on the orphan and give him shelter and raise him with their own children
because that is what we do and who we are.
Compassion and Christianity have a huge role in this but
also pragmatism- a community is better and overall safer when everybody is
cared for. Your neighbour falling into poverty doesn’t just affect him- it
affects you as well since he might fall to crime.
A non clannish society sees the value of community as the
greater family, and for millennia we have seen women and men past the active
age actively working to make their community better. There are studies that
show humans only thrived because older members of the tribe would look after
the kids while the parents were out hunting/gathering or otherwise working.
This is why we respect elders- because their wisdom improves
our communities and creates a living link to our history and identity. We need
their wisdom and experience, and they’re great at looking after children and
teaching them values.
When I was growing up in communist Romania, we lived on the
7th floor of a massive block of flats. Most households had both
parents working, and us kids were left to fend for ourselves when we returned
Only we weren’t. Our neighbour across the corridor was this
elderly lady in her late 60s-70s. Her own grandchildren were grownups, so she
had taken it upon herself to ensure all the neighbourhood kids were well looked
The young ones were not trusted to have their own keys, so
the parents left the keys with her. She would come and lit the gas cooker on
for you to warm up your lunch because a 7 year old couldn’t be trusted with
turning the gas on and off.
She checked on all of us to make sure we came back from
school in time.
A small pudgy woman always wearing a house dress and an
apron, she was everybody’s grandmother.
She wasn’t alone.
Every section of the block had one or more old’uns looking after us.
Some were sitting in front of the block all day keeping an eye on the kids,
making sure we didn’t run in traffic and god forbid you jaywalked- one of them
would slap you and tell your parents.
These were old people who had moved from their houses to the
blocks- forced by Communism’s attack on our towns. Their homes had been
demolished and they had been forced to move.
So, with the experience they had from the war and before,
they took on the mantle the elders always carried in Europe- of community
It wasn’t just in Romania. Everywhere in Europe you will
hear gen Xers tell stories about the communities they grew up in. The neighbour
who came in to help with cooking when the mother had to go back to work because
the dad had fallen sick. The old man who watched over the neighbourhood kids
while they were playing football, to ensure they were not hurting themselves.
This is who we are, and in some corners of Europe and
America it still exists. In the small remote communities people still do this
and the community is better for it.
Before the TV and the internet, after a hard day of work the
men and women went outside and spoke to their neighbours. They found out what
was going on and how. They arranged for work and help.
Women spoke to the women. One had taken sick so an auntie
offered to come and feed her children so she could recover. Old man Johann can
barely move, can someone come and fix the well for his wife and kids? Of course
someone could, Thomas and Hans would be right over with their tools.
This is a community. It’s who we are and it has been like
this for millennia. We make each other better by helping everybody and no one
is left behind.
This is what we lost with the advent of the TV. We no longer
spoke to our neighbours, being stuck to the glass boob. We no longer cared
about the people around us but about works of fiction created to poison our
And suddenly something changed. Our elders were no longer
valued and listened to. The media portrayed them as mad and sometimes dangerous
And we stopped listening to them and instead of seeing them
as valuable, we started thinking of them as burdens.
Instead of helping them and listening to them and letting
them be part of our community, having them look after their grandchildren and
teach them their identity and culture and stories, we stuck them into care
homes where they could die slowly and painfully of loneliness while we paid
bored strangers to look after our kids.
So the kids grew up neglected, with nobody to teach them the
values and stories of their people. Nobody paid attention to their problems.
The kids felt left and betrayed.
Is there any wonder the Millennials have no values and no
sense of identity when we stole from them the sense of community my generation
was last to have?
Is there any wonder they fall to insane ideologues disguised
as teachers when we failed to tell them about our community and values?
Is there any wonder mental health illness has skyrocketed? Humans
are social animals we aren’t meant to live alone. The media has forced us to
lock ourselves in our homes and while the TV noise might cloud our minds, you
still have to cry yourself to sleep afterwards.
Slowly, the media taught us to fear others and stay away
from them because strangers are bad.
We hear so much about pedophiles that the places where people
allow their kids to play outside have become smaller and smaller. But kids aren’t
being snatched up by strangers.
Because our communities needed to be destroyed.
We need to take our communities back. This is how we rebuild our civilization, buy remembering
who we are and what we do and that everybody is valuable.
Europe is failing because we let it fail, because we
withdrew from our agora. Because we stopped saying hello to our neighbours.
Because we let them fall through the cracks and we expected strangers to fill
our need for companionship that exists in our genes instead of just saying
hello to our neighbours.
The strange man in the corner house who always says hello to
you and your kids is not a monster. He’s probably just someone who slipped
through the cracks of society and who might just come to your help if you ask
him. Maybe he’s good with woodwork. But you will never know if you never say
hello to him.
Boo Radley is not a monster. He might just save your life or
your children’s lives.
When was the last time you took some excess cookies you made
and brought them to the neighbour’s kids? You’re not going to eat them all anyway.
We need to go back to our communities. We need to rebuild
them and the first thing we can do is teach our children to say hello to the
Communities keep us sane and stable. Communities look after
their own members.
We need our communities now more than ever. For our mental
health, for our physical health and to keep our civilization going.
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