These are some polarized times, my friend.
We are increasingly living in a world of parallel realities. Multiple truths. Conflicting views and lived experiences.
My recent trip away from home was eye opening. Coming from Vermont (currently the most vaccinated state in the US), it seemed as if Covid had never existed in the different regions of the country where I travelled. Meanwhile, during the trip, there was news from Europe of lockdowns and protests as they head back to the dark days of the pandemic.
The intentional communities movement has not been immune to the growing polarization.
Throughout this year, community seekers have called me up desperate to know if there is a community out there that is anti-vax, or on the other side, to get reassurance that intentional communities are safe for them to visit.
We share a similar vision, but different ideas about how to get there and who is invited.
It makes sense. People start or join community because they want to live with others who share their values. In a world with its values out of whack — hyper-consumption, growth at all costs, disregard for human life and ecosystem health — it is no wonder more and more people dream of a different life. Many of us dream of a piece of land or a city block with neighbors we know and trust, doing things together, growing food, raising children, enjoying warm gatherings and meaningful conversations.
But what if the purpose of intentional community isn’t to create enclaves of similarity?
What if the healing power of community is to learn to live amongst differences, to learn from each other, and to stay in relationship even when we disagree?
Right now there is deep division over Covid vaccinations and masking, as well as political ideologies, relationship to government, schooling, gun control, white supremacy, abortion, methods of activism, privacy rights… The list could go on and on.
All of these divisions show up in intentional communities too.
And within these microcosms of community we have a unique opportunity.
The social technology of getting along with others is desperately needed. How will we ever overcome the greatest of challenges facing our planet if small differences can derail us? This is where intentional communities can be awesome teachers. Facilitation, conflict resolution, nonviolent communication, group process, cooperative culture building — these are the skills of the communitarian.
Here at FIC we've experienced renewed interest in intentional communities within recent years. As the world is shaken awake through crisis after crisis, people are looking around with new eyes. They are looking for alternatives.
Hello? Yes, you feel lonely and disillusioned by society? We have something over here you might like.
Ic.org is a homecoming for thousands of people around the world who didn’t realize that community living was within reach. Stereotypes are dropping. Intentional community is no longer synonymous with hippy communes in the woods (although we love those kinds of places too!). A new generation of communitarians is coming into its own, and just in time.
You, my friend, are a part of this great turning. You are the communitarian that the world needs right now.
We want to partner with you to bring to life projects that will put the wisdom of communities front and center, while skilling up a movement of communitarians. We are raising $35,000 between now and the end of the year to fund these core projects for 2022:
Inside Community Podcast - Bringing stories of all the beautiful and messy realities of life in community to thousands of people through the popular medium of podcasting. $5,000 is needed to launch the first episodes in January 2022.
Communities Directory Book - Creating an updated version of the book that has set off countless community journeys and become a beloved companion for communitarians the world over. With your help to raise $10,000 we can release the 8th edition in 2022.
Communitarian Scholarship Fund - Empowering communitarians through quality learning experiences is critically needed, especially for those who could not otherwise afford it. We are aiming to double what we gave out this year by raising $20,000 in scholarships for 2022.
You can fund your choice of the above projects through our It Takes a Village Campaign.
Can you make a gift to the intentional communities movement?
Do you believe in the power of community?