A Strong Community vs. Modern Culture
Community means something where I live in Mendocino County. We’re a small, rural area, and we rely on our family, friends and neighbors for help with jobs that are beyond our capabilities. Depending upon what kind of a jam I’ve gotten myself into, I know who to call to help me out. That’s what community means to me.
I love knowing the people around me, and knowing that I can count on them for help as much as they can count on me. Farming food and medicine deepens this commitment and connection to people because what folks nourish their bodies with is a serious responsibility that I don’t take lightly.
I feed people for a living because it’s my life calling. It makes me feel a great joy to know that the food I grow gets cooked into tasty meals all over the area. We’re slowly changing the way people eat by making them rethink how their connected to food. The acquisition, preparation, storage and consumption of food took up a large part of traditional human daily activity.
Breaking from the Sanitized, ‘Follow Authority’ Attitude of Modern Culture
The sense of anomie that our society suffers from can be traced at least in part to our separation from soil and food source. By linking “dirt” with “bad” instead of with “nourishment,” our modern culture leaves a formerly agrarian populace rootless, rudderless and lacking in direction.
We live in a modern consumer society deliberately designed to keep us ignorant, fearful and cowed. The inherent goal is to maximize each of us as output/consumption units while minimizing our capacity to act genuinely as free agents. This is clearly demonstrated in the systematic attempt to deprive us of the right to provide for ourselves the basic necessities. Food, fuel, medicine, clothing and shelter are inalienable, sovereign human rights, and as such we have the right to pursue them.
The public school system is designed to create adults who are used to answering to authority, waiting for a turn to speak, doing routine, boring tasks and possessing a set of mostly useless knowledge in today’s information-device-in-your-pocket world. Smartphones have essentially rendered traditional rote memorization education useless and brought home more than ever the need for project-based learning that teaches children how to think and problem-solve for themselves.
By showing kids how to objectively examine the world and the issues it presents, we give them the ability to form their own perspectives on life and thus a set of thought processes that will carry them forward effectively as adults. We need to teach ourselves and our children more reflexive body/psyche consciousness so that we can become more aware of ourselves.
At 31, I’m still trying to figure out how my body operates, and I really feel like we’re doing ourselves damage as a culture by not starting earlier and more effectively on understanding of self. We’re sort of taught how to go through the motions but as a culture we’re lacking in meaningful underpinnings for the reality we’ve created. We don’t really know why we do the things we do nowadays (drive in traffic, sit in cubicles) except that we don’t seem to have a choice. The system is deliberately constructed to make us feel trapped and powerless, cogs in the matrix.
Recognizing our true power as free agent individuals is the same as metaphorically waking up from the Matrix. As soon as you realize that you don’t HAVE to do any of the things you’re doing, then you have the freedom to change them. If we all had a part-time job that afforded us some cash income and spent the rest of our time producing or crafting something we enjoyed, we’d find a fundamentally more secure, enjoyable reality much closer to the world envisioned and experienced by the founders of this country.