Ever since my time WWOOFing out in North Carolina, one of the goals I have set for myself is to build community. Traveling away from my home-town and experiencing a different culture, a different way of life, opens your eyes to new possibilities. Traveling away also allows you to reflect upon the subtle beauties you take for granted.
Growing a connection to the natural world had also given me a better idea of how life once was and where it’s going today; sometimes we get caught up in the instant gratification of today’s technological era, yet our lives still require a sense for the past; a foundation that has allowed generations upon generations to flourish to the present day.
From my travels across the United States, both East and West (there’s still much more I need to see), has allowed me to experience the geographical differences – these natural borders – which has created unique societies within each and everyone one of these regions. All have their pros and cons; all with their unique beauties and disappointments.
I hear stories all the time about how my local area flourished during the 20th century, but now has been declining since the 1970s; a direct connection to the economics of the United States; outsourcing of factory jobs, 1980’s farm crisis, the “War on Drugs“, the destruction of the family unit, the retreat of youth to urban metropolitan meccas; ultimately the decline of the Middle Class.
All of this upsets me; because it upsets me, I want to do something about it.
Just because this area has been in decline does not mean it has to continue down this path. All it takes is one individual with enough passion to change the course of history. I’m working up the courage to be that individual.
I want community.
Photo by Niall Kennedy