Community | Re-Building

As we’ve seen, without the immediacy and comfort of community the world can become a larger and more foreboding place; we are less able to capitalize upon our playful urges, and our ability to create and to enjoy experience may become limited. It is perhaps tempting to see its breakdown as a natural progression, and received wisdom may have us believe that this is the way of things.

In our twenties we must define ourselves, and we do this in a variety of ways. Some of us seek to further our careers; to pursue excellence in a chosen field and to become all we can in this way. Some of us define ourselves through close relationships: through falling in love, and building a family. However we do it, we all end up following our own paths. The singularity of our choices and the demands they make upon us can lead to drawbacks in other areas, and can often contribute towards a breakdown of community that we may see as inevitable.

It is perhaps natural to see the kind of community that we knew in our youth as being lost to us; community based around play, creativity and shared ideals. In truth, this need never be lost, and if we are without it then it is first a matter of realizing that this is the case. If this realization comes as a sadness then it is up to us to do something about it; to re-build.

The adventure of youth is always within us. It is a trick of nostalgia that makes us believe that our good times are forever in the past, and it is a trick that makes us give in and accept less, in deference to ‘the natural way of things’. The world is full of possibilities no matter what age we are, and this is particularly true of those of us in our twenties.

We no longer fall into experience as easily as we used to; the demands of growing up and the responsibility that comes with it make opportunities for creative living fewer. But this need not be a point of regret. Now the burden is on us to create experience for ourselves; to invent our own lives in the form we wish them to take. In many areas of our lives we may have little control - we can’t all magic up an instant utopia for ourselves - but it may be true that it many ways we have more control than we realize.

Knowledge of experience - of what is possible - is crucial. We have seen some of the benefits of community; that it can provide momentum through combined will - momentum that can foster imagination, action and creativity within the individuals of the community. For us to be aware of the possibilities of living and of the experience that is available to us at all times is a start; but to be surrounded by others who share this realization is truly a liberation.