Wednesday, October 14, 2009

something different

Lately I've been reading Bill McKibben's book Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future. His central argument is that the affluent West's single-minded pursuit of economic growth and increased efficiency is making us unhappy and the planet sick. In support of the former claim, McKibben cites a wide body of research showing that the dramatic increase in wealth in the US has also resulted in greater isolation and unhappiness. People are part of fewer groups, know their neighbors less frequently, and move more often. New homes are designed with a premium on privacy, making even contact between family members less frequent.

What we're doing here is different, and baffling to some folks. I tried to count how many people we've hosted at the Farm in the last week and lost track somewhere around 60 - people who have come for meetings and meals, to teach us and to learn, to break bread and pull carrots out of the ground. They've stayed for a few minutes or a few days, and some have been so excited about what's going on here that they've brought friends back to see it. They've left gifts and artwork and junk food that we wouldn't buy ourselves (but secretly love to eat anyway), and yes, sometimes dirty dishes. And they've all taken part in something rare and so needed these days - the formation of community.

1 comment:

  1. Probably more dirty dishes than you would have us know. As a frequent recipient of Farm House hospitality, I thank you!