I should admit straight away that I don’t know much about eco-villages, but I want to learn. Because I feel that lots of things gone wrong with today’s living. Because I’ve seen how some things could be done better.
I am talking about my childhood and student memories. It’s not just me: I’ve heard stories of people joining or starting eco-villages and intentional communities for the similar “nostalgic” reasons.
When me and my friends were kids in 1970s-1980s Russia, our grannies and grandads were WWII survivors. They mended clothes, cooked homemade meals, never would waste anything. In summer, when they stayed with us at the countryside, they would grow fruits, herbs and vegetables (and also of course flowers), they would burn all paper and wood for heating and cooking, they would compost all organic waste, they would pick wild berries, herbs and mushrooms, which they would preserve, can or dry. Nobody had to do all this, but it was perceived as a part of good healthy life.
We were free range kids, in summer playing in the forest and loving exploring wild nature. We never had any “play dates” – we could knock on each other door at any time. We shared books and things. We learned skills from our “survivalist” grandparents. We were inventing our own games and making our own toys. Later we would create our own plays or sing our favourite songs around campfires. I thought this was how life supposed to be. It was far from perfect, but it was good.
Then came isolation and disconnection… Some of my grown up life package was actually great: like the possibilities to learn anything through the Internet, to travel, to start my own family or to try creating an online business (although this didn’t quite worked out yet).
I am wondering if it is possible to have the best of both worlds? To live closer to Nature, to each other, be efficient and environmentally friendly but without giving up the privileges of being also close to the whole wide world and of doing our dream jobs according to our abilities and interests.
I am going to research how this could be done. What I suspect already is that we can’t build a good community without honestly, transparency and respect of different ways in which people would want to contribute and to do good things. Because a good deed done by order stops being a good deed. This is why I think that instead of creating strict rules and regulations (which happens in some communities) it would be better to give people opportunities, examples, incentives and encouragement. Let the good life win because it is better.
What do you think?