That time again kids- John's Thoughts!
Our society clings to a concept of the "self-sufficient individual" that is largely delusional. Every time I hear social-spending policy discussed by someone who wants to "keep more of MY money", I have to wonder where that money came from. Does this person have an employer? co-workers? customers or clients? or do they truly generate wealth without the co-operation of others? In fact, the concept of "money" is a massive exercise exercise in community value - try printing your own currency and getting someone else to exchange value for it. Remember the British term "Commonwealth of..." It recognized that some things of material value were best held in common.
We all live in interlocking sets of group efforts - and we are all more vulnerable to their potential failures than we care to be aware of.
Nonetheless, community, in its truest form for humans, is as much a spiritual state as it is anything else - it is grace held in common. In it, members are called to service. All the major religions place importance on the spiritual value of being of service to others. In the material world, our species depends utterly on six inches of topsoil and the proper amount of rain. In the spiritual sense, community is the six inches of topsoil, and grace the proper amount of rain. With these, we flourish. Without them, life gets bleak in a hurry.
There are tools for nurturing community and culture. Symbols, rituals, adornments and history are all means by which collective values can be expressed and shared - we are all constantly using them, often unknowingly, in our daily lives.
When people of good intention and loving hearts gather, that place, at that time can become sacred ground. We are charged with making it so. Namaste - John